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Field Artillery 



Captain Fifth Field Artillery, United States Army. 




Copyright, ittOS, 








'^^ This little book is an expansion and rearrangement of a course 

^^- of lectures given by me in the United States Infantry and Cavalry 

'^ School, and has been prepared for publication in its present form at 

^ the suggestion of Major John F. Morrison, General Staff, Senior In- 

^ structor Department of Military Art, Army Service Schools. Pos- 

sibly it may help, in a small way, to interest oflScers of other arms 
^^. in Field Artillery, and thus strengthen the feeling of unity through- 

out the service. 

The books to which I have most frequently referred in collect- 
"^ ing material are the following : 

Rouquerol : "The Tactical Handling of Quick-Firing Field 

May: "Field Artillery with the Other Arms." 
Hohenlohe : " Letters on Artillery." 
Rohne: "Die Taktik der Feldartillerie fiir.die Offiziere aller 

Langlois : " L'artillerie de Campagne en Liaison avec les autres 

Culmann : " Le Canon ^ Tir Rapide dans la Bataille." 
^ Layriz : " Moderne Feldartillerie." 

Drill regulations, official and semi-official manuals of our own 

and other armies. 
Reports of American observers in Manchuria. 
-v-._ . Journal of the United States Artillery. 

...3 Rouquerol's and May's books are particularly recommended to 

5^ those who care to read more on the subject. 

5 Among the officers who have rendered me assistance, I wish 

.J, ^ to express especial obligation to Captain Dwight E. Aultman, Fifth 

Field Artillery, and Captain Arthur L. Conger, Twenty-ninth In- 
fantry, who have aided me by advice and criticism during the whole 
time that the manuscript was in preparation. 

Captain Fifth Field Artillery, 

ri Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, 

'7 June, 1908. 



Introduction; General Characteristics of Field Artillery. 

Classification and Organization. 


Methods of Fire; Conduct of Fire; Fire Direction. 

Drill Regulations; Information and Communication. 



Examples of Mankuver and Firing Problems. 




Artillery, although often spoken of as a thing 
apart from the other arms, is really the one of all 
the arms which is least capable of such consideration. 
Infantry can, in many cases, be sufficient unto itself; 
cavalry, although generally an auxiliary to the infan- 
try, can act independently. But artillery, while it is 
a powerful assistant to either of the other arms, is 
nothing by itself. Even the famous charge of Seid- 
litz*s cavalry, upon the head of the allied column at 
Rossbach, could not have been made without the 
help of the eighteen twelve pounders which Freder- 
ick placed on the Janusberg ; but it was Seidlitz that 
struck the blow — the artillery was powerless to do 
more than give him the opening. 

An infantry or independent cavalry force is 
usually commanded by an infantry or cavalry officer. 
Artillery, from the very nature of things, is almost 
invariably under the command of an officer of another 
arm. Therefore, for the good of the service at large, 
it is important that officers of the other arms study 
the characteristics of artillery. 

There are plenty of books intended to teach the 
artillerist his own business, just as there are plenty 
of books doing the same for the infantryman or 


cavalryman. And since field artillery always acts as 
an auxiliary, the artilleryman can get what he needs 
to insure intelligent cooperation out of the ordinary 
text books of the other arms. 

But when the infantryman or the cavalryman, who 
has to command or serve in a mixed force containing 
artillery, wants to find out how he may get the most 
good out of his guns, he finds himself in difficulties. 
The information that he wants is not collected; to 
understand one book, he is compelled constantly to 
refer to half a dozen others. Too often he gets the 
idea that the handling of a battery is a mystery, a 
highly technical matter, and decides that the best thing 
he can do is to let the gunner alone, to go his own 
mysterious way. 

It is not that the power of artillery is underrated. 
In fact, powers are very often attributed to it which 
it does not claim, and does not possess; missions are 
then assigned to it which it is incapable of perform- 
ing, and disappointment shown when it fails. 

This arm differs from the others, in the first place, 
in that it is capable of fire action only. The artillery, 
man is proud to remember Captain Norman Ramsey's 
horse battery at Fuentes de Onoro, which, being cut 
off by French cavalry, limbered up and charged, and 
so forced its way back to its friends ; but he does not 
claim that it was artillery work. The Prussian horse 
artillery used to practice, in time of peace, a charge 
by the mounted detachments, to permit a withdrawal 
of the guns from imminent danger; but the sugges- 
tion provokes only a smile now. 

Being thus debarred from shock action, artillery 
has, as was its clear duty, sought to develop its fire 
power to the utmost. In so doing it has naturally 

evolved a materiel and a system for using it, which 
by comparison seem complicated. But most of the 
complications are for the artilleryman himself to deal 
with; others need consider them only in so far as it 
is necessary to enable them to appreciate the tactical 
powers and limitations of the arm. 

But a certain amount of this technical information 
every officer should have ; otherwise he will make one 
of two mistakes. He will so hamper his artillery 
with unwise or impossible orders that its energy is 
wasted; or he will leave his artillery commander to 
his own devices, without even giving him information 
which would enable him to act intelligently. 

There was a time when the artillery jealously 
guarded its technical information, and did not want 
to be understood. Up to the middle of the last cen- 
tury, an officer joining the Prussian artillery was 
required to promise not to betray the secrets of the 
corps. Hohenlohe remarks: 

"But he learned no secrets at all, and as on the 
other hand he was not told that what he learned was 
not a secret, he never knew whether he was not 
divulging secrets whenever he spoke about his 
arm, and he gladly stopped all conversation on the 
subject by saying that these were technical things 
about which he was not at liberty to speak. ^ ^ ^ 
The gunner was very much afraid of betraying 
secrets ; but how could he betray them when he did 
not know any ? I can assure you of this at least, that 
I myself never learned one. Ah ! I am afraid that, 
by saying this, I have betrayed to you the very 
greatest secret of all." 


But this spirit, happily, has long been a thing of 
the past. Artillerymen understand that, as they can 
do nothing alone, it is to their advantage to associate 
themselves as closely as possible with the other arms. 
This book, then, will seek to collect the most essen- 
tial technical information, and make a few tactical 
applications of it. 

Early artillery weapons sought to increase fire 
effect by increasing the size and weight of the indi- 
vidual projectile — the round shot. Besides being in 
itself more powerful than a musket ball, and so pos- 
sessing great battering power, this projectile was cap- 
able of producing effect on a very deep target, by 
means of its adaptability to ricochet fire. 

The next step was to get distribution in breadth, 
by means of grape shot. This could be used only at 
very close range, but gave then an almost annihilat- 
ing effect. The single shot, whose power was more 
than sufficient against animate targets, was broken 
up into a great number of smaller ones, each power- 
ful enough for its purpose, and these smaller projec- 
tiles distributed with fair uniformity over a consider- 
able area. 

We thus find that the two important characteris- 
tics of artillery fire were recognized at an early day, 
— battering power, and the ability to sweep an area. 
Later improvements have simply developed these two 
kinds of fire. 

The round shot as a battering projectile has now 
been superseded by the shell. This is simply a fly- 
ing mine ; as heavy a charge as possible of high ex- 
plosive is confined in a steel envelope only strong 
enough to bear the shock of discharge with safety, 
and provided with a percussion fuze which will deto- 


nate it on striking a resisting target. In some such 
projectiles a delay-action fuze is used, which retards 
the explosion long enough for the shell to penetrate 
or bury itself in the target. 

Another type of shell is made with thicker walls, 
and hence a smaller bursting charge. This is in- 
tended to be burst in the air at a certain point of its 
trajectory, by means of a time fuze, so scattering 
fragments of considerable size, and giving an effect 
similar to that of grape shot, but at a longer range. 

This brings us to the shrapnel, which is now the 
principal field artillery projectile. This differs from 
the second type of shell, in that the envelope is thin, 
and the bursting charge ver)r small ; the extra space 
is filled with bullets. Thus it is nothing but a very 
efficient device for transferring a grape or canister 
effect to a long range. 

The power of shrapnel fire, then, is due entirely 
to its ability to cover a considerable area. Hence, it 
should never be attempted to use such a projectile in 
single shots against a small target. Its effect is com- 
parable, not to that of a rifle, but to that of a number 
of rifles controlled by one commander. 

Shrapnel fire is, essentially, identically the same 
thing as collective rifle fire, but generated in a pecu- 
liar manner and capable of special applications. 

To get the proper benefit out of this characteristic, 
the area covered must be made of dimensions suited 
to the occasion. This compels the use of guns in 
groups of various sizes ; as Hohenlohe strikingly says, 
•* A single gun is no gun at all." 

In the early days of artillery it was customary to 
assign the lighter guns, singly or in pairs, to infantry 
battalions; but we find instances of massing them 


more and more frequently, until, about the beginning 
of the nineteenth century, the battalion gun disap- 

At the battle of Marignano ( 1 5 1 5 ) all the French 
guns were massed to sweep the line of the Swiss ad- 
vance. The Chevalier Bayard is reported to have 
said to the Grand Master of the Artillery, "I pray 
you fire seven or eight guns all together;'* which was 
done, with great effect. 

Gustavus Adolphus improved his light guns 
greatly, increasing both their mobility and their rate 
of fire. His heavy guns were grouped into large 
batteries, and he often assembled the battalion guns 
to reinforce or replace them. 

Frederick the Great, in his earlier battles, paid 
but little attention to . the artillery ; but when he 
finally did begin to appreciate it he did much for its 
improvement. He used his guns habitually in masses; 
and he was the first to organize horse artillery, which 
could keep pace with cavalry. 

His enemies, too, the Austrians, had a most effi- 
cient artillery at this time. Lichtenstein, their great 
artillery general, followed the same plan as Frederick, 
in habitually using his heavier guns in masses. 

Napoleon, himself an artillery officer, placed great 
reliance on this arm. He said, *'It is the artillery of 
my Guard that decides most of my battles ; for having 
it always at hand, I can use it wherever I wish." He 
used his guns in imposing masses, with the most de- 
cisive effect. 

One of his brilliant artillery generals, S6narmont, 
showed an audacity at Friedland that startled even 
his master. He formed all the artillery of Victor's 
corps, thirty-eight guns, into one battery, and advanced 


with it boldly ahead of the French line to within 400 
paces of the Russian infantry. Napoleon's first 
thought was that S^narmont, with his whole command, 
was deserting to the enemy; then, seeing the great 
battery come into action, his feeling changed to one 
of anxiety lest it be lost, and he sent an aide to recall 
it. But S^narmont only replied, "Let me and my 
gunners alone ; I will be responsible,*' and advanced 
to 200 paces range. His fire drove the Russians from 
the field ; he reports their loss as 4,000 killed, his 
own as 1 1 killed and 45 wounded, and his ammuni- 
tion expenditure as 2,516 rounds. 

At Wagram, formidable French batteries took a 
decisive part no less than four times. First, an Aus- 
trian attack on Napoleon's right was checked, chiefly 
by artillery fire, and Davout began to make headway 
there. Next, the rest of the Austrian line coming 
on, it was checked in the center by a line of 100 field 
guns ; on the left it continued to gain ground until 
it came under fire from the heavy guns in position 
on the Lobau, when Massena managed to hold it. 

Davout, meanwhile, had been pushing his flank 
attack; and when Napoleon saw that this was suc- 
ceeding, he advanced all along the line. Massena 
made a counter attack on the left, where the troops 
opposed to him were already shaken by the fire from 
the Lobau ; and in the center the great battery of 
100 guns advanced and opened the way for the deci- 
sive charge of the day, which forced the enemy from 
the field. 

Napoleon's opponents wefe long in acquiring the 
skill and boldness necessary to compete with his ar- 
tillery. Even as late as 18 1 3, at the battle of Bautzen, 
where the Allied artillery was used with great effect. 


some of the Prussian captains hesitated to engage 
their full force, and held a part of their eight-gun bat- 
teries in reserve. But a little later in the same year, 
at Leipzig, the Allied artillery was handled in a man- 
ner that compelled Napoleon to admit that **at last 
they had learned something.'* 

In our own Civil War, we find most conspicuous 
instances of the use of guns in mass. At Malvern 
Hill, McClellan concentrated his batteries for defense, 
and supported them by fire from the gunboats in the 
James River. At Fredericksburg, Burnside crowned 
all the hills on his side of the river with guns, to 
cover his offensive movement. 

At Gettysburg the guns were heavily massed on 
both sides. Longstreet*s attack upon the Third Corps 
at the Peach Orchard was prepared by 64 guns, and 
most of this line advanced to support the successful 
infantry. And the Confederate advance here was 
checked largely by artillery — the fragments of the 
Third Corps batteries, aided by batteries sent in from 
the Second and Fifth Corps, and from the Artillery 

On the last day of the battle, Pickett's charge was 
supported by 75 guns of Longstreet's corps and 60 of 
Hill's. The Federal position being cramped, an 
equal force could not be gotten into action ; but all 
for which room could be found, about 80, were as- 
sembled to meet the attack. 

In all the great battles of the Franco- Prussian 
War, masses of guns played a leading part. But no 
other achievement of the Prussian batteries could 
compare with the terrible ** circle of fire" formed by 
them at Sedan. Southwest of Sedan was one mass 
of 114 guns; on the south, 36; on the east, 144; on 


the northeast, 90; and on the northwest, 156. In all, 
540 guns were in action, and 100 more were present, 
but could not be used on account of lack of space. 
Hohenlohe says that some of the batteries of the 
Twelfth Corps came up to reinforce the Guard artil- 
lery, and their commander took it as a personal insult 
when he was informed that there was no room for 

In Manchuria the great lines of guns of former 
wars did not appear ; the same result was obtained 
in another way. The fire was concentrated upon the 
selected point from widely separated positions. Thus, 
at Liaoyang, the Japanese concentrated the fire of 
over 200 guns on the Shushanpu position; but the 
fire was converging, from a line 15,000 yards long — 
a crescent over 10,000 yards from point to point. 
Some 30 heavy guns were on the extreme right ; then 
came three separate groups, each consisting of one 
field artillery regiment, 36 guns ; and finally, on the 
extreme left, were the two regiments of army reserve 
field artillery. 

Concentration of fire is what has always been 
sought. Concentration of guns has been accepted as 
a necessary evil. To get the first without the second 
two things are necessary — long range, and means of 
controlling fire from a distance. The range has 
gradually been lengthened, but the necessary control 
of fire was never attained until the field telephone 
came. The principle is the same at Marignano and 
at Liaoyang ; only the method is changed. 

To sum up, we find that we have a powerful unit, 
which is very small and compact, and hence particu- 
larly susceptible of control. The range being long, 
it is possible to produce an effect at will upon any 


one of many targets, or to concentrate the fire of 
widely separated groups upon one target. The guns 
being capable of very rapid fire, this effect may be 
made exceedingly intense. 

Since it is unnecessary, with the present laying 
instruments, that each gunner see the target at which 
he is firing, the guns may, if desired, be entirely 
concealed. They may thus get exceptional oppor- 
tunites for acting by surprise, and it is very difiBcult 
to reply effectively to their fire. 

On account of the fixed support upon which the 
guns rest, the accuracy of their fire is less affected 
than that of the other arms by excitement and ner- 
vousness of the men. 

Loss of men has relatively little effect upon the 
volume of artillery fire ; that is, if a gun has lost half 
its cannoneers it has by no means lost half its fire 
power. The ultimate unit is not the man, but the 
gun; and the gun can remain in action as long as 
there is a single man to serve it. Not only can^ but, 
when necessary, does ; atColenso, when Colonel Long*s 
two batteries were lost, several of the guns were 
served to this extreme limit. 

On the other hand, artillery naturally has "the 
defects of its qualities.*' For example, it is, as has 
been said, good for fire action only. It is useless, 
helpless, and exceedingly vulnerable while in motion; 
a gun with its team forms a target almost as large as 
a platoon of cavalry in column, and even 'the loss of 
a single horse causes confusion and delay. Its move- 
ment is greatly affected by the terrain and the con- 
dition of the roads, and the effectiveness of its fire 
by weather, time of day, etc. 




In designing any gun intended for use in the 
field, there are two important requirements — power 
and mobility. Granting that a general type of gun 
has been decided upon, it is evident that any increase 
in one of these two factors is at the expense of the 
other. It is necessary to balance the two, keeping in 
mind the specific purpose of the gun under consider- 

We thus find it necessary to have several distinct 
classes of gun, ranging from the very powerful and 
almost immobile to the very mobile but compara- 
tively weak. The general classification is: — siege, 
heavy field, light field, horse and mountain guns. 

Besides this classification, based upon power, there 
is a second, based upon the shape of the trajectory. 

For the attack of targets that can be reached by 
it, flat trajectory fire is preferred, on account of its 
power and accuracy. Cases frequently arise, how- 
ever, where such fire is useless, either the gun or its 
target being so concealed and sheltered by entrench- 
ments or the accidents of the terrain that higher 
angles of departure or fall become necessary. 

To provide for both cases, there must be two or 
three types of weapon, — the long gun for flat tra- 
jectory, the shorter howitzer for curved, and some- 


times the still shorter mortar for high angle fire. We 
thus subdivide our original classes, and distinguish, 
for example, the light field howitzer, the heavy field 
gun, the siege mortar, etc. 

Evidently, the number of separate calibers that 
might be adopted to make a complete series of types 
is very large. But it is iiliportant to reduce this 
number to a minimum, both from considerations of 
economy and also to avoid complication in ammuni- 
tion supply. Each army must determine, according 
to the conditions which it has to meet, how many and 
what calibers it should adopt. 

The guns being selected, the quCvStion of organi- 
zation arises. As has already been shown, a single 
gun is rarely of any use ; we are thus brought to con- 
sider, as our first step, how many guns should be in- 
cluded in our smallest permanent unit. 

This unit, called the battery, must be large enough 
to utilize efficiently the properties of artillery fire 
above indicated, but no larger. If it is smaller, our 
organization has evidently failed at the outset ; the 
unit will fail to do its work, and two or more will be 
habitually consolidated. Each little unit, of course, 
will have been provided with a complete set of the 
necessary instruments, and placed under the com- 
mand of an officer of appropriate rank and experi- 
ence ; thus part of the officers and part of the instru- 
ments will be wasted. On the other hand, if it is 
larger than necessary, it will habitually be split up ; 
then some of the subdivisions will be unprovided 
with instruments, and some of them may have to be 
entrusted to commanders whose knowledge and ex- 
perience is inadequate. 


It is essential that the primary unit be of a 
size which is conveniently handled, in action, in camp, 
and on the march ; and it should include within itself 
a number of caissons, suitably proportioned to its 
number of guns, so as to insure a sufficient ammuni- 
tion supply under all ordinary circumstances. 

When the necessity of using guns collectively in- 
stead of individually was first perceived, the first step 
was simply to form masses of guns temporarily, when 
and where they were needed, but to make no perma- 
nent organization. The inconveniences of this were 
apparent, and finally all armies adopted the plan of 
forming permanent batteries. But for a long time 
after this was done, it was not everywhere accepted, 
as it now is, that all the pieces of a single battery 
should be of the same type and caliber. 

The number of guns in a battery has been grad- 
ually reduced, as a result of experience and of changes 
in materiel, from as many as twelve to as few as four. 
Russia and Austria are now the only powers that 
have batteries as large as eight guns. 

In the nature of things, artillery must be prepared 
to expend a large amount of ammunition, and with 
the advent of rapid fire guns it has become necessary 
to provide a larger amount than ever. This supply 
is managed by assigning to the battery at least one 
caisson per gun, and frequently by providing a light 
ammunition column for certain groups of batteries, 
linking them with the main ammunition columns of 
the division, corps or army. 

In our own service the organiziation of siege artil- 
lery is made to conform to that of the lighter types. 
In most countries, however, the siege organization 
conforms more nearly to that of garrison or seacoast 


artillery. Thus the Japanese used, in the late war, 
some very heavy guns, even up to the 28 cm. (i i-inch) 
seacoast howitzers mounted before Port Arthur. 
These guns were manned by coast artillery troops ; 
there was no fixed organization, but such pieces as 
seemed suitable were selected from those available, 
and the proper quota of men assigned to handle them. 
Russia has organizations known as siege artillery 
regiments, distinct and different from the field artil- 
tillery ; each regiment is provided with a siege park 
of different types of heavy pieces, from which the 
ones suited to each occasion are selected. 

In like manner, each army has minor differences 
in classification, peculiar to itself. The light field 
battery, however, is the predominant type everywhere; 
it is armed with howitzers or guns, but usually with 
the latter. In Germany, for example, the proportion 
is one howitzer battery to three gun batteries. 

As a basis for comparison, we may take the light 
field battery armed with guns. 

Our own battery consists of four guns and twelve 
caissons; in addition it has a store wagon and forge, 
constituting a small repair shop, and two kit wagons, 
besides the allotted forage and ration wagons. The 
ammunition carried amounts to 1,432 rounds, or 358 
per gun. The battery is divided into four gun 
sections, Nos. i to 4, each consisting of one gun and 
one caisson; four caisson sections, Nos. 5 to 8, of two 
caissons each; and a supernumerary or ninth section, 
to which are assigned all the remaining vehicles. This 
last section is commanded by the battery quarter- 
master sergeant, the other sections by sergeants. 
The first eight sections are organized into platoons of 


two sections each, commanded by lieutenants. The 
whole battery is commanded by a captain. 

This organization is in general niuch the same 
as that of a French battery, which has the same 
number of guns and caissons, and carries 312 rounds 
per gun. 

We have preferred to keep a large supply of am- 
munition with the battery itself. One reason for this 
is doubtless that our total force is so small that we 
seldom find many batteries together. When a large 
number are assembled, it is easy to withdraw a certain 
nunjber of caissons from each, if it is thought advis- 
able, and organize a consolidated reserve of ammu. 
nition. The German organization presupposes the 
habitual concentration of batteries, and assumes that 
such a consolidation would be the rule; it hence 
provides for light ammunition columns, and assigns 
fewer caissons to the batteries. 

The German battery has six guns and six caissons; 
it is intended to add three more caissons. Some 
high authorities, notably General Rohne, are strongly 
in favor of a four-gun battery, but apparently no 
change is to be made at present. The number of 
rounds of ammunition with the battery itself, after 
the increase in the number of caissons, will be 168 
per gun. 

The Japanese organization is similar to the 
German. The battery has six guns and six caissons; 
the immediate ammunition supply is 130 rounds per 

The batteries of most other armies resemble, in a 
general way, either the French or German type. 
One minor peculiarity is found in the English battery, 
which is of six guns, but is commanded by a major 


instead of a captain. A more marked deviation is 
noted in the Russian field battery, already referred 
to. This consists of eight guns and sixteen caissons, 
is divided into two half batteries commanded by 
captains, and is itself commanded by a lieutenant 
colonel. The ammunition supply is 1,824 rounds, or 
228 per gun. The Russian horse batteries have only 
six guns. 

In all countries larger units are formed by group- 
ing two or three batteries. In our service this unit 
is called the battalion ; it is commanded by a major, 
whose commissioned staff consists of a captain as ad- 
jutant, and a lieutenant as quartermaster and com- 
missary. The number of batteries is always three.* 

Foreign units next above the battery are : 

France, — The g-roupe, of three field or two horse 
batteries, commanded by a major. 

Germany . — The abieilung, of the same organiza- 

England. — The brigade, formerly called brigade 
division, of the same strength, commanded by a lieu- 
tenant colonel. 

Japan, — The battalion, of three batteries, com- 
manded by a major. 

Russia, — The division, of three field or two horse 
batteries, commanded by a colonel. 

Most armies provide for at least one still higher 
unit. England, however, has no permanent unit 
larger than the brigade; and France, while she as- 
sembles groupes into regiments in time of peace, for 
administration and instruction, treats the groupe as 
the unit in time of war. 

Our own higher unit is the regiment. It consists 
of two battalions; regimental headquarters are or- 


ganized as in infantry or cavalry. The German and 
Japanese regiments are formed in the same manner, 
by combining two of the next smaller unit ; but since 
the batteries are poorly supplied with ammunition, 
each regiment hasj its own light ammunition column. 
In Germany this regimental column consists of twenty- 
one caissons, making the average supply of ammuni- 
tion per gun in the whole regiment, counting 
everything, 219 rounds. In Japan it consists of a 
regimental reserve of twenty-seven caissons, and two 
regimental columns made up of light carts. The total 
supply per regiment is 350 rounds per gun. 

In Russia the divisions are combined by twos or 
threes into brigades, commanded by major generals. 
Germany also" has brigades, of two regiments each, 
organized in time of peace. 

In assigning artillery to mixed bodies of troops, 
it was formerly customary to give small numbers of 
guns to infantry brigades, or^even to smaller units." 
It is not now usual to make permanent assignments 
to anything smaller than the infantry or cavalry di- 
vision. Some armies give all the light guns to the 
divisions; others retain a part of them under the 
direct control of the corps or army commander. 
Heavy guns are rarely assigned permanently to any 
unit smaller than an army corps. 

In the Civil War both sides began with an artil- 
lery which had very little organization beyond the 
battery. The batteries were assigned to infantry 
brigades, or even in some cases to regiments, without 
any fixed system. 

The first attempt at organization, on the Federal 
side, was by General McClellan when he took com- 
mand of the Array of the Potomac. He assigned 


four batteries to each division, one of the four being- 
from the regular service ; the captain of the regular 
battery was chief of the artillery of the division. 
Later, during the Peninsular campaign, he directed 
that each corps commander withdraw from each of 
his divisions one half its batteries, and organize them 
into a corps reserve. Besides this divisional and 
corps artillery, he formed an army reserve of i8 bat- 
teries and a separate siege train. The corps and 
army ** reserves" were reserves only in name, and 
generally were brought into action early. 

As new divisions were organized, and artillery 
had to be provided for them, the army reserve grad- 
ually diminished in size, and finally became little 
more than a central depot. 

By 1863 the divisions had become greatly reduced 
in strength, and* in most cases all the divisional artil- 
lery was withdrawn and consolidated into a corps 
artillery brigade. Thus in the Gettysburg campaign 
each corps had its brigade of from four to eight 
batteries ; the cavalry corps had two brigades, aggre- 
gating nine batteries ; and the army reserve consisted 
of 21 batteries, organized into five brigades. On 
account of the lack of field officers most of the 
brigades were commanded by captains. 

The Confederates had a similar experience with 
their artillery. In the Peninsula, their army reserve 
artillery was organized into battalions of from three 
to five batteries, and was all under one head; but in 
only about half of the divisions was there any orga- 
nization beyond the battery. In the others the indi- 
vidual battery commanders reported directly to the 
division or even the brigade commanders. Later in 
.the war, the Confederates evolved a very good artil- 


lery system, the unit being the battalion of from four 
to six batteries. The corps artillery consisted of two 
battalions under a chief; the divisional artillery of 
one battalion. There was no army reserve. 

Our present organization provides for assigning 
all the light guns to the divisions. Each infantry 
division is to have a brigade of two regiments of 
light or mountain artillery, making 48 guns, or about 
3^ per thousand infantry; each cavalry division, 
one regiment of horse artillery. We have as yet no 
light field howitzers ; but doubtless when it becomes 
possible some of the divisional batteries will be 
armed with them. 

Germany also now assigns all the light guns to 
the divisions, giving a brigade of two regiments, 72 
guns, to each infantry division. This gives 144 guns 
to the corps (2 divisions, 25,000 infantry), or 5^ guns 
per thousand, besides whatever heavy guns are 
assigned to corps headquarters, usually four batteries. 
One abteilung in each corps is armed with light howit- 
zers. A cavalry division, 3,600 sabers, has a horse 
abteilung of two batteries. 

The same system of distribution is followed in 
Russia. The first division of each corps has an artil- 
lery brigade of two divisions, making six batteries 
or 48 guns. The second division has a brigade of 
three divisions, eight or nine batteries, 64 or 72 guns. 
The corps aggregates 32,000 infantry and 112 or 120 
guns, making from 3^ to 3^ guns per thousand. A 
cavalry division, 3,600 sabers, has two horse batteries, 
12 guns. A rifle division of 12,000 men has four field 
batteries, 32 guns. 

France retains the corps artillery. Each infantry 
division has two groupes of three field batteries each ; 


the corps (two divisions, 32,000 men) has three groupes 
of three field batteries each, and one groupe of two 
horse batteries. Total for the corps, 23 batteries, 92 
guns, or a little less than three guns per thousand. 
In addition, heavy guns in varying numbers are 
assigned to the corps. The cavalry divisions average 
some 3,000 sabers; each has a groupe of two horse 

Japan has no army corps, but forms armies of from 
two to four divisions. Each division consists of two 
regular and one reserve infantry brigades, about 
18,000 men ; it has a light or mountain artillery regi- 
ment of thirty-six guns, and a reserve battery of six 
guns. To army headquarters, besides the heavy 
guns, is assigned an artillery brigade of varying 
strength. Thus Kuroki's and Oku*s armies consisted 
of four divisions each, and to each army was as- 
signed an artillery brigade of three regiments. This 
made the paper strength in artillery 3.8 guns per 
thousand infantry ; but the reserve batteries failed 
to materialize, and the artillery brigades were cut 
down to two regiments each, to provide guns required 
elsewhere ; so the actual strength was three guns per 

In England, each infantry division, 8,000 men, re- 
ceives two brigades of field artillery. The corps, of 
three divisions, has, in addition to the eighteen, 
divisional batteries, one brigade of three batteries, of 
light field howitzers, and one brigade of two batteries 
of horse artillery. The corps of 24,000 infantry has, 
then, twenty-three batteries, 138 guns, or 5^ per thou- 
sand, besides whatever heavy guns may be assigned. 
The cavalry brigade of 2,500 sabers has one battery 
of horse artillery. 




It is generally understood that during the last 
ten years or so there has been a complete rearma- 
ment of the jBeld artillery of the world. This re- 
armament has not been merely a gradual process of 
improvement, such as is constantly taking place ; it 
has been the definite abandonment of one type and 
the substitution of another, radically different, — a 
change as radical as that from the muzzle loader to 
the breech loader. 

The new type of gun is commonly known as a 
" rapid firer." This term is a convenient designa- 
tion, but can not be considered as an accurately de- 
scriptive title, since rapidity of fire is not by any 
means the only, or even the most important, charac- 
teristic of the type. 

Our old 3.2-inch gun, just withdrawn from service, 
is an excellent example of the old type ; our present 
3-inch gun, of the new. Since much uncertainty still 
exists as to exactly what is meant by a ** rapid-fire 
field gun,** a comparison of the two may help to clear 
the matter up. 

To open the breech of the old gun, it was neces- 
sary to unlock the mechanism by lifting a lever, rotate 
the breech-block, pull it to the rear, and swing it to one 
side. All these operations are performed in the new 
gun by the continuous motion of one single lever. 


In loading the old gun, the projectile had first to 
be inserted and rammed home, then the powder 
charge pushed in. The new ammunition is fixed, and 
the gun is loaded in the same manner as a rifle. 

The old gun having been loaded and the breech 
closed, a primer, to which a lanyard had previously 
been hooked, was inserted in the vent. With the 
new ammunition, the primer is not a separate part, 
but is fixed in the cartridge case, so that the gun is 
ready for firing the instant the breech is closed. 

In aiming the old gun, the only way to point it 
for direction was to move the trail — an essentially 
slow and inaccurate method ; and the sight had to be 
removed from its socket before firing. The new 
piece can be traversed on the carriage through a con- 
siderable angle, by means of gear in the hands of the 
gunner himself, who remains during the firing with 
his eye at the sight, keeping the piece continuously 
trained on the target. Only an approximate direction 
is given by shifting the trail. 

With the old gun, indirect laying, that is, train- 
ing upon a target invisible to the gunner, was slow, 
difficult and inaccurate ; with the new one, it is as 
easy and accurate as direct aiming; in fact, in some 
respects, it is even a more simple and accurate process. 

The old gun, with its carriage, recoiled bodily 
along the ground ; the cannoneers had to step clear 
before firing, and the piece had to be run up into 
position again and relaid for each shot. The new 
piece recoils independently of its carriage, which re- 
mains motionless, and is returned immediately to the 
firing position by springs; all cannoneers remain at 
their posts, and the gun remains trained on the target. 


The new gun throws a projectile i^ pounds 
heavier than the old, with a slightly greater muzzle 
velocity ; the number of bullets in each shrapnel is 
about 50 per cent, greater; and the effective range 
for shrapnel has been increased about 50 per cent. 

This outline will serve to show in a general way 
what advantages have been gained by the rearma- 
ment ; we will now examine the new materiel itself. 

The breech mechanism is of the slotted screw type ; 
the block has two threaded and two planed sectors, 
hence requiring ninety degrees rotation to unlock. 
The breech is opened by a single horizontal motion 
of the operating lever ; the first part of this motion 
rotates and unlocks the block, and latches it to the 
block carrier, and the remainder swings block and 
carrier to the right, pivoting on the hinge-pin ; this 
leaves the block clear of the breech recess, with its 
axis at right angles to that of the gun. A latch, 
which guards against accidental moving of the lever, 
is placed in the lever handle in such a manner that 
the grasp of the hand on the handle releases the 

Since fixed ammunition is used, no pad or other 
obturating device on the breech block is necessary ; 
the cartridge case itself acts as a gas check, prevent- 
ing the escape of powder gas to the rear. 

An extractor is provided, engaging the head of 
the cartridge case and throwing it clear of the breech 
when the block is withdrawn. 

Percussion primers being used, a firing pin and 
appropriate mechanism are enclosed in the block. 
As the block is rotated in opening, the firing pin is 
drawn back and held by the sear ; but the firing pin 
spring is not compressed until the last motion of lock- 


ing the block. As shown in Fig. i, the axes of the 
gun and block do not quite coincide ; the firing pin 
is placed eccentrically in the block, so that in the firing 
position it lies in the axis of the piece, and conse- 
quently in line with the primer of the cartridge. As 
the block is rotated to open the breech the pin moves 
to one side, clear of the primer, and remains in that 
relative position until the block is again rotated in 
closing the breech. As a further precaution, the 
trigger engages the sear only when the mechanism 
is in the locked position. 

*■* Po&ilion of RririjJ Pin, 
Block unlocWl. 

Fig. 1. 

The trigger handle is on the right hand side of 
the piece and is fixed to a non-recoiling part of the 
carriage. This handle engages the trigger mechan- 
ism only when the gun is **in battery/* that is, when 
counter-recoil is complete. A lanyard may be at- 
tached to the trigger if it is desired to stand clear of 
the carriage in firing ; as, for example, on a pave- 
ment or hard ground, where it is feared that the trail 
spade, which is intended to anchor the carriage, may 
not take hold. A double action trigger mechan- 
ism is used on the guns of most recent manufacture, 


so that in case of missfires a second trial may be 
made without touching the operating lever. 

The gun proper is a nickel- steel, built-up, rifled 
piece, consisting essentially of a tube with jacket 
shrunk on. The caliber is 3 inches ; length of bore 28 
calibers, or 84 inches; total length of piece, 87.8 inches; 
maximum range for shrapnel, 6,500 yards. The piece 
has no trunnions, but is held in what is called a 
cradle, which forms a part of the carriage, and in 
which the gun can move only longitudinally. 

The recoil of the gun in the cradle is limited and 
controlled by means of an hydraulic cylinder and 
piston. The cylinder lies within the cradle, under 
the gun ; it is a steel tube, about six feet long and a 
trifle less than three inches in outside diameter. Its 
rear end is bolted to a lug on the under side of the 

The piston rod is secured at its forward end to 
the cradle, and passes through a stuffing box in the 
front cylinder head. The piston fits easily in the 
cylinder bore, and has three notches cut in its cir- 
cumference, so that liquid may pass from one end of 
the cylinder to the other. 

Upon firing, the cylinder recoils with the gun, 
the piston remaining stationary ; the resistance 
caused by the passage of the liquid in the cylinder 
through the notches of the piston head controls the 
recoil, which is limited to 45 inches. 

To check the force of recoil gradually and easily, 
three longitudinal ribs, or throttling bars, of uniform 
width, but varying height, are formed on the interior 
walls of the cylinder. These lie in the notches of 
the piston head, and gradually close them during re- 


coil ; thus the resistance to recoil is constantly in- 
creased, until the piece is brought to rest. 

A diagrammatic representation of these parts is 
seen in Fig. 2. 

The total weight of liquid in the cylinder is only 
about seven pounds. A special quality of oil is used, 
instead of the glycerin and water mixture, which is 
common abroad. 

- cylinder 
--Pi»loTj >\ttad. 

Transversa Section -Pistor> hem^ 
LoTjgitucliT)al Seclion-ThrottliDg bar. 

Fig. 2. 

Helical springs, assembled in the cradle around 
the cylinder, absorb enough of the energy of recoil 
to return the gun promptly to its firing position. 
The spring column, consisting ot three springs, end 
to end, is assembled under an initial compression of 
something over 500 pounds, and will return the piece 
to battery even at maximum elevation. The motion 
is very quick; some twenty unaimed shots per minute 
are possible. 

The springs being thus powerful, some means 
must be provided for checking the counter-recoil with 


the least possible shock, so as not to injure the parts 
or unnecessarily derange the aim. This is accom- 
plished by fitting a slightly tapered rod, about i8 
inches long, to the inside of the rear cylinder end ; 
this fits, with very slight clearance, into a hole bored 
axially in the piston rod. As the piece returns to bat- 
tery, liquid is caught in this cup, and can escape only 
through the small clearance, thus forming a cushion. 
Fig. 3 shows the principle of this device. 

— 'Cy^indaT 

'Pis! on rod* 

*--Buff*y rod ^sto-n head 

Longitudinal Section.counter-recoil Buffer 

Fig. 3. 

The cradle rests upon a platform called the rocker, 
upon which it is pivoted so as to have a motion in 
azimuth of eight degrees — four degrees on each side 
of the normal. This rocker is journaled on the axle, 
about which it may be rotated; it thus forms an in- 
termediate part, connecting the upper carriage, al- 
ready described, with the lower carriage, which con- 
sists of the wheels, axle, trail and elevatifig device ; 
the last named part is a double screw arrangement, 
the outer screw connected to the trail and the inner 
screw to the breech end of the rocker. When the 
carriage is standing on level ground, the maximum 
elevation is 15 degrees; maximum depression, 5 
degrees. The height of the axis of the piece above 
the ground is 41 inches. 


To relieve the traversing and elevating gear from 
strain while traveling, the cradle can be locked to the 

The energy of recoil, though taken up and dis- 
tributed in the manner described, must of course 
come ultimately to the lower carriage. To prevent 
the carriage from being moved out of place, a fixed 
spade is provided at the end of the trail, which, on 
ordinary ground, is buried at the first shot, and 
thereafter holds the carriage stationary. It is neces- 
sary to watch this spade during firing on unfavorable 
ground, to see that it is holding properly; a short 
trench is often dug to receive it. The ordinary road 
brake may be used to lock the wheels, and so relieve 
the pressure on the trail spade. 

For the protection of the personnel against small 
arm and shrapnel bullets, a steel shield 0.2 inches thick 
is provided. It consists of three plates, apron, main 
and top shields, which fold together for traveling. 
When extended the bottom of the apron is 5 inches, 
and the top of the top shield 62 inches, above the 
ground. This is sufficient height to afford protection 
to cannoneers on the trail seats, even against long 
range or high angle fire. 

Before acceptance, each plate is tested by firing 
at it at a range of 100 yards, with the service rifle 
and ammunition ; the plate must not be penetrated, 
cracked, broken or materially deformed. Each ac- 
cepted plate bears the scar of this test in the form of 
a slight indentation. 

Seats are attached to the trail, for the gunner and 
firing number when the piece is unlimbered. Axle 
seats are also provided for cannoneers when traveling. 

Under the axle seats are four steel tubes, each 


intended to carry one round of ammunition, for 
emergency use only. 

The laying apparatus consists of two instruments: — 
the sight, mounted on the left side, and the range 
quadrant, on the right side, of the piece unlimbered. 
In use, both instruments are fixed to non recoiling 
parts of the carriage ; when traveling, they are 
carried in leather-lined, sheet steel cases, supported 
upon springs and fixed to the main shield. 

The sight is telescopic, of peculiar form. Light 
entering at the reflector opening is reflected directly 
downward through a tube, and then again reflected 
ninety degrees to the eyepiece. The vertical dis- 
tance between eyepiece and reflector opening is such 
that when a man's eye is at the former, the latter is 
above the top of his head. Cross-hairs are provided 
in the plane of the image, so that the effect is the 
same as having the distance between front and 
rear sights equal to the range; that is, when the sight 
is directed upon any object, the cross appears to be 
drawn upon the object itself, as in a transit. 

The sight is supported upon a shank, curved to 
an arc of a circle, fitting into a bracket riveted to 
the cradle; by means of this shank, with suitable 
gearing, proper elevation may be given the sight for 
different ranges. A cross-level is also provided, to 
correct for difference in the level of the wheels when 
in position. A sighting port is, of course, cut in the 

An or Aindiry peep sight is supported upon the same 
shank ; it is used in connection with a front sight on 
the forward end of the cradle. The distance between 
front and rear sights is about 37 inches; this, conse- 


quently, is the radius used in striking the arc of the 
rear sight shank. 

The height of the line of sight above the ground 
is, for the peep sight, 45 inches when the gun is at zero 
elevation. With the telescopic sight the reflector 
opening is about 7 inches higher. 

The most noticeable thing about this telescopic 
sight is the arrangement for setting off deflection, — 
that is, moving the plane of sight out of its normal 
position parallel to the plane of fire. All previous 
service sights were constructed on the plan of the 
rifle sight wind gauge ; a very limited motion on each 
side of the normal was provided, the scale reading 
zero at normal and being graduated right and left. 
With such sights, indirect laying was difficult, and 
even impossible to the extent now contemplated; and 
mistakes sometimes occurred, even with good gun- 
ners, through allowances being set off on the wrong 

The new sight (called, from this pecularity, the 
panorama sight) is so constructed that, while the eye- 
piece remains fixed, the upper part, containing the 
reflector, can be turned through a whole circle, and 
an object situated even in the direct rear of the gun 
may be observed through it. A very ingenious op- 
tical contrivance makes the image in the eye piece 
always erect, in whatever direction the reflector 
opening points. The value of this arrangement will 
be seen when the subject of indirect fire is discussed. 

The graduation of the sight limb is not in degrees 
and minutes, but in *' points'* or ''mihy This unit 
is theoretically that angle, something over three 
minutes, whose natural tangent is o.ooi. Thus if, 
firing at a given range, the deflection set off on the 


sight be changed by one mil, the point of fall of the 
projectile at the next shot will, theoretically, be 
moved laterally ^wifTf of the range. 

The number of mils in a complete circle is nearly, 
but not quite, 6,400, and the graduation of the sight 
limb is arranged accordingly. The exact number 
would evidently be 6,283 and a fraction (2 X 3. 14 16 X 
1,000) ; but the error caused by using this convenient 
even number is so slight as to be negligible, amount- 
ing to only 1.8 per cent. 

Using this sight and direct aiming, the proper 
elevation and direction may be given the gun, and 
the proper deflection allowances to compensate for 
wind, drift, etc., made, by the gunner alone, who is 
seated on the left trail seat with the elevating and 
traversing gear at hand. 

If desired, however, aiming for direction alone 
may be left to the gunner, and the elevation given 
by cannoneer No. i, who sits on the right trail seat 
with the range quadrant in front of him, and who 
has control of a second elevating crank. 

T/ie quadrant is a special form of clinometer, and 
measures vertical angles from the horizontal. The 
sight measures its vertical angles, not from the hori- 
zontal, but from the line joining piece and target. 
All range tables necessarily give sight elevations. 
In order to use the quadrant, therefore, it is necessary 
to correct the sight elevation by adding to it or sub- 
tracting from it another angle, called the *' angle of 
site,** — that is, the angle between the horizontal and 
the line joining piece and target. The result is what 
is called the "quadrant elevation" for the range in 
question, and evidently varies, not only with the 


range, but also with the difference in level of gun 
and target. 

Fig. 4 shows the different angles mentioned. 

The quadrant is so constructed as to give auto- 
matically this algebraic sum, or ** quadrant elevation.*' 

The angle of site is first measured with the bat- 
tery commander's telescope or in any other conven- 
ient manner, and the clinometer scale of the quadrant 

le of d«partttr«> 


.in* of dopartuTik 



'^Quadrant e1«vatior) 

Rg. 4 

is set accordingly. This scale is graduated in mils» 
and employs the same principle of continuous gradu- 
ation as the sight limb; the reading when level is 
not zero, but 300, and the graduation is from 200 to 
400. Hence any desired elevation or depression is 
absolutely designated by its number alone, the num- 
ber being less than 300 for a target below the gun, 
and greater for one above ; and even the most inex- 
perienced cannoneer could not make the mistake of 


setting off an elevation when a depression was 
ordered, or vice versa 

The clinometer scale being set for angle of site, 
the range dial is set for the range. The result of 
these two operations is that the instrument mechani- 
cally combines the two angles, — angle of site and 
sight elevation, — and that a level borne by the quad- 
rant is set at an angle to the axis of the piece equal 
to their algebraic sum. 

The gun is now elevated or depressed until the 
level bubble is centered ; it is then correctly laid in 

Much consideration has been given to the proper 
size of the wheels. Large wheels give easier draft, 
and also greater free space underneath ; on the other 
hand, they increase weight, and necessitate a longer 
trail to give stability when firing, — for the shock of 
discharge tends to raise the wheels from the ground, 
rotating the whole carriage about the end of the trail. 
The wheel finally adopted has a diameter of 56 inches, 
a trifle smaller than the wheel of the 3.2 inch gun. 
There is an oil reservoir in the axle, which can be 
filled without removing the wheel. The breadth of 
tire is 3 inches; the track, 60 inches. 

The limber is all steel, except pole and wheels. 
Gun and caisson limbers are identical. Space is pro- 
vided in the chest for 39 rounds of ammunition, 
packed horizontally, bases to the rear, — three rows 
of thirteen each, the cases fitting into holes in vertical 
partitions. Three of these holes, however, are not 
ordinarily to be used for ammunition, but are to con- 
tain oil cans, one for kerosene, one for lubricating 
and one for cylinder oil. Thus there are forty rounds 


with the gun, counting the four under the axle 

The rear wall of the chest is hinged to form a 
door, which opens downward, being held in a hori- 
zontal position by chains. This door is corrugated, 
both to give increased stiffness and to avoid direct 
contact between it and the primers in the cartridge 
cases. No springs or cushions are provided to pro- 
tect the ammunition from jar, as such protection has 
been found to be unnecessary. 

Attachments are provided on the limber for the 
usual tools — ax, pick, shovel and hatchet, — and also 
for lanterns, picket lines and watering buckets. 

The system of draft is the same as that employed 
with the old materiel, that is, continuous traces 
throughout the team, attached to pivoted single and 
doubletrees. The harness is the same as before. 

The gun and carriage complete, with shield and 
four rounds of ammunition, weigh 2,480 pounds; the 
limber, with all equipment and full chest, weighs 
1,612 pounds; thus the total weight behind the gun 
team is 4,092 pounds, 65 pounds more than with the 
3.2. inch gun. It is this consideration of weight which 
is the controlling factor in determining the caliber to 
be adopted, for experience has shown that sufficient 
mobility for a gun intended to accompany rapidly 
moving columns in the field can not be retained if the 
weight behind the team is very much over 650 pounds 
per horse. Six horses is the usual limit for teams 
intended for quick work; increase beyond this num- 
ber does not increase the power in the same propor- 
tion ; hence the weight for a light field gun should 
not greatly exceed 3,900 pounds. This materiel, it 


will be noted, approximates fairly well to this re- 

The weight of the caisson is somewhat greater, 
being 4,258 pounds when fully loaded and equipped. 
An excess, however, is allowable in a caisson which 
might be objectionable in a gun carriage, as the re- 
moval of a very few rounds of ammunition reduces 
the weight materially. The old caisson was given a 
still greater excess of weight, weighing, fully packed, 
4,553 pounds. 

The caisson body carries only one chest, but it is 
much larger than that of the limber, containing 70 
rounds of ammunition, packed in five rows of four- 
teen each. The front of the chest is of armor plate, 
the same as is used in the gun shield. An apron 
shield of the same plate is hinged under the axle, so 
as to be lowered in action and raised when traveling. 
When lowered it reaches to within 5.5 inches of the 

The rear wall of the chest forms the door; it 
opens upward, swinging 120 degrees, in which posi- 
tion it catches and holds. It is of armor plate like 
the shield, but slightly thinner, and is intended to 
deflect upward any bullets that may clear the chest. 
Instead of corrugations to form the primer guard, 
steel T's are riveted to the inner face of the door; 
when this is closed, the upright legs of the T's fall 
between rows of cartridges, and the horizontal legs 
extend a short distance across the cartridge heads ; 
the cartridges are thus held firmly in place, without 
contact between door and primer. The T's also give 
additional stiffness. 

Caisson bodies, like limbers, are provided with 
pintles in rear, so that several bodies may be coupled 


together as trailers behind one team. This may at 
times result in marked economy in animals, when 
moving ammunition over good roads or taking empty 
caissons to the rear. 

A trail prop, somewhat similar to the pole prop of 
a limber, forms a third point of support for the cais- 
son body when unlimbered. 

From the preceding descriptions it will be seen 
that the ammunition with the battery is, for each gun 
carriage, 40 rounds, — 36 in the limber chest and 4 
under the axle seats ; for each caisson, 106, — 36 in the 
limber and 70 in the caisson body. 

As each four-gun battery on a war footing will 
have twelve caissons, the ammunition with the bat- 
tery will be 1,432 rounds, or 358 rounds per gun. 

The battery wagon and forge is constructed like a 
caisson, except that the chests are arranged to carry 
blacksmith's, carpenter's and saddler's tool kits and 
materials. The store wagon is similar to the battery 
wagon and forge, but the chests are fitted to carry 
repair material and spare parts for the battery. 
Both battery wagon and store wagon carry spare 
wheels, two each. 

The ammunition to be carried includes shrapnel 
and high explosive shell. The issue of cast iron 
common shell will be discontinued when the present 
supply is exhausted. The projectiles all have the 
same weight, 15 pounds, but not the same length; 
the ammunition chests are so constructed as to hold 
either length securely. The proportion of shell to 
be carried has not been definitely fixed; present 
allowances are ^ shrapnel and -^^ shell. 

Shrapnel is of course the most important projectile. 
Several models have been and still are in service, but 


all but one will disappear as soon as the present 
supply is exhausted. 

In the model adopted, the case is of drawn steel 
with solid base. The mouth of the case is closed by 
an aluminum head, screwed in and tapped to take 
the service combination time and percussion fuze. 
The bursting charge is 2^ ounces of loose black 
powder ; it is placed in the base, and covered by a 
steel diaphragm. The diaphragm supports a steel 
central tube, which extends forward through the 
aluminum head to the fuze, and thus affords a conduit 
for the flames to the bursting charge. At the lower 
end of the central tube a stopper of dry gun-cotton is 
fitted, to prevent the loose powder charge from 
getting into the tube, and also to help the ignition of 
the bursting charge. 

The shrapnel filling is composed of 262 balls, each 
0.49 inches in diameter and approximately 167 grains 
in Weight. The balls are assembled around the cen- 
tral tube and rest upon the steel diaphragm, the inter- 
stices containing a smoke-producing matrix. This 
matrix serves not only to hold all the parts securely 
in place, but, on explosion, makes a clearly visible 
burst and so facilitates observation of fire. 

The weakest cross-section is at the line of attach- 
ment of the head. Hence, on explosion of the burst- 
ing charge, the head is blown off, the case usually re- 
maining intact ; the case then acts like a short shot- 
gun, throwing its contents to the front with an added 
velocity of about 250 f. s. 

With the service muzzle velocity of 1,700 f. s., 
the remaining velocity of the shrapnel at 6,500 yards 
range is 700 f. s., about the same as the muzzle ve- 
locity of the service revolver. If, then, the shrap- 


nel be burst in the air at this range, each bullet will 
have a resultant velocity of about 950 f. s., enough 
to make a bullet of this weight effective at 200 or 300 

These results are entirely satisfactory for a pro- 
jectile to be used against animate targets in the open. 
But for use against inanimate targets or entrenched 
troops, something else is needed. The shrapnel bul- 
let has not sufficient power to destroy materiel; and 
on account of the flatness of the trajectory and the 
small angle of the cone of dispersion, it can not reach 
troops in any but the lightest entrenchments. 

Hence, a steel shell is issued, holding about two 
pounds of the service high explosive. This is burst 
by a detonating percussion fuze. Those heretofore 
issued carried this fuze in the point ; a new design 
uses a base fuze, and is provided with a base cover to 
prevent any possible leakage of powder gas into the 
interior, through the fuze screw threads. 

Since this shell, on detonation of the filler, gives 
from 500 to 600 effective fragments, it has been pro- 
posed to use it in place of shrapnel against troops in 
entrenchments ; if burst at the proper point, by means 
of a time fuze, the fragments would fly in all direc- 
tions, and search cover in a manner impossible to 
shrapnel. No satisfactory results of this nature have 
been obtained, however, and no such projectile is 
issued in our service. 

The explosive used is a secret compound, and 
combines extreme safety in transportation with ex- 
treme certainty and force of action. 

Experiments are being made both here and abroad, 
with a view to developing a projectile which shall 
unite the characteristics of shell and shrapnel, and so 


simplify ammunition suppl5^ As yet no such com- 
bination projectile has been produced which is sat- 
isfactory either as shell or shrapnel, but it is hoped 
that one may soon be produced. 

The combination time and percussion fuze issued is a 
great improvement over the old one, in that it is set 
for time, not by punching, but by turning a disc 
about an axis coinciding with that of the projectile. 
One-half the time train is contained in the disc, the 
other half in the fuze body ; the angle through which 
the disc is turned determines the amount of train 
which must burn before the flame reaches the burst- 
ing charge. After an old model fuze was once set, it 
could hot be used at a longer range, while the new 
model can be set and reset repeatedly. Thus a bat- 
tery may, if desired, go into action with all its fuzes 
set at zero, ready to use its maximum canister effect 
at a moment's notice, and still reset fuzes as desired 
for any range. 

The ease and certainty of fuze setting is also 
greatly increased. A device for setting is attached 
to each caisson ; it has two scales — a range scale and 
a "corrector** for adjusting height of burst. The 
corrector scale is graduated in mils, the reading 30 
corresponding, with normal fuzes, to the normal 
height of burst, y^V^r ^^ ^^® range. The two scales 
being set as directed, the cannoneer has only to insert 
the point of the projectile, containing the fuze, into 
the instrument and turn it as far as it will go. The 
fuze is then set so as to burn the requisite number 
of seconds before exploding. 

If the corrector were set at zero, this number of 
seconds would be equal to the full time of flight for 
the range set on the range scale, and, theoretically, 


the time and percussion elements of the fuze would 
act at the same instant. Setting the corrector at any 
number above zero changes the relative position of 
the parts in such a way that the time setting of the 
fuze will be less than the time of flight ; that is. the 
higher the corrector setting the shorter the burning 
time of the fuze, and consequently the higher the 

The propelling charge is about 24 ounces of 
smokeless powder, nitro-cellulose ; the exact amount 
varies with the lots of powder, being adjusted so as 
to give the standard muzzle velocity of 1,700 f. s. 
To ignite this charge completely and uniformly, two 
black powder igniters are used, each of no grains 
weight. One is placed in the primer, the other at 
the front of the charge. 

A round of ammunition complete, with its brass 
case, weighs 18.8 pounds. 

A very important accessory of the battery is the 
battery commander s telescope. This is an instrument 
somewhat similar to the panorama sight, but larger 
and more powerful, and mounted on a tripod. It is 
capable of measuring both horizontal and vertical 
angles, and its graduation corresponds to that of the 
sight. By its aid the battery commander determines 
deflection allowances and measures angles of site; it 
may also be used to observe the fire, or, if a little time 
is available, as a range finder. For quicker and 
rougher measurement of angles a short rule is issued, 
graduated in mils, and provided with a cord, by 
means of which it can be held at a fixed distance 
from the eye. 

In Chapter II it was shown that the artillery of 
an army must consist of various weapons, differing 


from each other both in caliber and kind of fire. The 
piece just described is the first to be issued of a 
complete series, all of which are to be of the same 
general type. 

In this series, the 3 inch gun is classified as a light 
field gun. Three of our six field artillery regiments, 
designated as ** light," are armed with it, as is also 
the one regiment designated as *' horse." As a com- 
panion piece to it, having about the same weight but 
using curved fire, a 3.8-inch howitzer has been de- 
signed, which will carry a thirty- pound projectile. 

Since, as has just been mentioned, our horse bat- 
teries are all armed with the 3 -inch gun, they differ 
from light batteries only in that the cannoneers are all 
mounted, instead of riding on the carriages or march- 
ing on foot. Horse artillery is primarily intended to 
operate with cavalry, and requires great mobility ; 
and it is believed by many that, to secure this, the 
gun should be lighter. The generally accepted view 
is that the weight behind horse artillery teams should 
be reduced to as near 3,000 pounds as possible. 

The Ordnance Department has been studying the 
question of a smaller caliber gun, but no design has 
yet been evolved that seems satisfactory. One propo- 
sition was to make a five- pounder, of about 2 inches 
caliber. This would have been a very light gun, but 
would have been able to use only shell. Shrapnel 
depends for its effect upon the number of separate 
missiles into which it separates on explosion. The 
lighter the shrapnel, the larger the proportion of 
weight that must be devoted to the case, and the 
smaller the number of bullets ; in a shrapnel so small 
as five pounds, the number of bullets would be so 
small that the projectile would be ineffective. It is 


not considered admissible to give up the shrapnel in 
any field gun, and hence so extreme a reduction in 
caliber is not acceptable to the horse artillery. 

The two remaining regiments of our field artillery 
are armed with mountain guns. These, of course, 
are less powerful than the regular field guns, and are 
not capable of such rapid motion on roads or over 
easy country; but they can be taken into positions 
and maneuver without difficulty in country that 
would be impossible for the field guns. 

The mountain gun now in use is of foreign manu- 
facture ; it is of modern construction, has a caliber of 
75 mm. (2. 95 inches), and is arranged for either pack 
or wheel transportation. The former is always used 
in our service. 

The gun has a recoil on the carriage of 14 inches ; 
the recoil and counter-recoil mechanism are on the 
same principle as described above, although different 
in detail. The wheels are 36 inches in diameter ; the 
track is 32 inches. In firing, the wheels may be 
attached to the trail by ropes to prevent their revolv- 
ing; this arrangement, together with a trail spade, 
reduces, but does not entirely prevent, recoil on the 
ground. The shrapnel weighs 12^ pounds; the 
muzzle velocity is 920 f. s.; maximum range, about 
4,000 yards. Four pack mules are required for each 
piece, one carrying the gun, one the cradle with attach- 
ments, one the trail with attachments, and one the 
wheels and axle. Additional mules carry ammuni- 
tion, twelve rounds each. The loads average 320 
pounds, including harness. This is a very useful and, 
in general, satisfactory gun ; it is proposed to retain 
the type, but increase the caliber to a full 3 inches, 
give the piece a longer recoil on the carriage, in 


order to secure more stability in firing, and provide 
laying apparatus similar to that of the field gun. 

We have at present no heavy field batteries, but 
the necessity for providing them is evident. Their 
importance in a pitched battle has recently been em- 
phasized by events in Manchuria and South Africa. 
Recognizing this necessity, the Ordnance Department 
has designed several heavy guns, some of which have 
been completed and have undergone some tests. 

Much of the mobility insisted upon in a light field 
gun may here be sacrificed to gain power, since these 
guns would not be expected to accompany quickly 
moving columns, and need be capable of rapid move- 
ment only for short distances, and that rarely. The 
only question is, just how much mobility to dispense 

The basis adopted by the Ordnance Department 
for designing heavy field materiel was a weight of 
4,800 pounds. This would give a gun capable of 
being handled by a six-horse team, at such speeds as 
would be required. 

Without greatly exceeding this weight, a 3.8-inch 
gun can be constructed, carrying a thirty-pound pro- 
jectile, and this it has been decided to do. This piece 
corresponds to the old 3.6-inch twenty pounder gun, 
but is heavier and more powerful. The correspond- 
ing howitzer will be of 4.7-inch caliber, and carry a 
sixty-pound projectile. 

There is a strong feeling that these two guns will 
prove unsuitable for their purpose. They seem to 
be a compromise — not mobile enough for one class^ 
and not powerful enough for the other. They are 
inferior in power to corresponding weapons abroad. 

Hence it may be that this class may be aban- 


doned, and replaced by what is now officially known 
as siege materiel. The basis of design for this class 
was a team of eight heavy horses, and a load of i ,000 
pounds per horse ; this gives mobility sufficient for 
heavy field purposes, and more than sufficient for 
siege work. The gun is a 4.7-inch sixty-pounder, and 
the howitzer a 6 inch 120-pounder; the pilot guns 
are now undergoing test. The corresponding old 
pieces were the 5 -inch 45 -pounder gun and the 7-inch 
105 -pounder howitzer. 

If these guns are turned over to heavy field 
batteries, more powerful ones should be prepared for 
siege work. Their weight need not be much re- 
stricted by considerations of mobility; when siege 
guns are needed there is plenty of time to bring 
them into position, and when once placed they rarely 
have to move. In long sieges even heavy seacoast 
guns can be used, as was done at Port Arthur. 

For purposes of comparison, some of the details of 
foreign guns may be of interest. Mountain guns 
and all of the heavier types will here be disregarded, 
and only the standard type of each country men- 

As is well known, the French were the pioneers in 
developing rapid fire field artillery materiel and 
methods. All other countries have now followed 
their lead and adopted some form of rapid fire gun. 

Some chose an intermediate type, having **accel- 
erated fire,** — so called for lack of a better name, — 
which was often constructed by modifications in old 
materiel Of this class was the gun used by Japan in 
the late war. 

It is known as the Arisaka gun, and was adopted 
in 190 1, superseding a bronze Krupp 9-pounder. It 


is of steel, built up, has a caliber of 75 mm. (2.95 
inches), and fires an eleven-pound projectile ; the max- 
imum range for shrapnel is 5,000 yards. The ammu- 
nition is ** semi-fixed" ; that is, the powder charge and 
primer are put up in a brass case, but the projectile 
is separate. The breech mechanism is of the slotted 
screw type ; the block, which contains the percussion 
firing mechanism, opens downward. 

The gun is rigidly mounted on its carriage by 
means of trunnions. The whole carriage, therefore, 
runs to the rear on firing, but a device consisting of 
a recoil brake and wheel shoes is used to check recoil 
and return the piece to battery. This device is con- 
structed as follows. 

On the inner side of the hub of each wheel is an 
annular groove, in which a rope runs. One end of 
each rope is fastened to the wheel shoe, the rope 
then passed around the hub, and the other end at- 
tached to a cross-head at the end of a piston rod lying 
between the flasks of the trail. The flasks are 
grooved to make a slide for the cross-head. The 
wheel shoes are hung from the axle by chains, and 
have spade-like projections on the under side, which 
the wheels, on recoil, force into the ground. 

When the piece is fired, the wheels run back onto 
the shoes, forcing them down. A pull is thus 
brought upon the ropes, which is transmitted to the 
cross-head and piston rod, compressing powerful 
springs. The pull ceasing, the springs expand again, 
returning the gun to battery. The average length 
of recoil is fifty centimeters. 

Since the gun seldom returns into precisely its 
original position, it must be relaid for each shot. 
The rate of fire is given as seven shots per minute. 


The carriage has no shield. The sights are not 
telescopic, but an arrangement is provided by which 
indirect laying is practicable, using an aiming point 
situated in any direction from the gun. 

This may be taken as a fair example of ** acceler- 
ated fire'* guns; it is, however, a type that has now 
almost disappeared, and is mentioned here only on 
account of its performances in the late war. 

The Russian guns opposed to this were of several 
types. The one that appears to have predominated 
was a 3 inch 13^ -pounder; it had recoil on the car- 
riage, checked by hydraulic buffers and by rubber pads, 
which latter also served to return it to battery. The 
carriage jumped more or less on firing, the sights 
recoiled with the gun, and there was no shield. 
Although superior to the Japanese armament, this 
was not satisfactory; a new gun, known as Model 1902, 
was adopted, and later further improved as Model 
1903, but it is doubtful if many of these had been put 
in service before the end of the war. 

The 1903 gun is of nickel steel; the caliber is 3 
inches and length 30 calibers ; the projectile weighs 
a trifle under fifteen pounds. The breech mechan- 
ism is of the single motion slotted screw type. 

The piece recoils 40 inches on the carriage, its 
motion being controlled by an hydraulic brake; return 
to battery is by springs. The carriage is mounted on 
5 3 -inch wheels and provided with a shield. 

The traversing device differs radically from our 
own ; instead of the gun being pivoted on the lower 
carriage, the entire carriage may be slid along the 
axle, pivoting on the end of the trail. By this ar- 
rangement, the force of recoil is always in line with 
the trail, not, as with us, often at an angle with it; 


but a great deal of lateral motion is necessary in 
order to give a small change in direction, since the 
radius of rotation is so long. 

Panoramic sights were not adopted for the 1902 
gun, but have been introduced in this newer model. 

Fixed ammunition is used; both shrapnel and 
high explosive shell are carried. Gun limbers hold 
36 rounds, caissons 96. The muzzle velocity is higher 
than that of any other field gun — 1,930 f. s. This 
high velocity has its advantages, but also its disad- 

The weight behind the team, limber filled, is 
given as about 4,200 pounds. 

Germany clung to the **accelerated fire*' gun longer 
than any other first class power ; and even now, when 
re-armament with new guns is in progress, German 
ideas do not seem to incline to very radical changes 
in the handling of them. 

The gun now being withdrawn from service. 
Model 1896, was a steel 15-pounder, caliber yy mm., 
or a little over 3 inches, length 27.3 calibers ; the am- 
munition was only semi-fixed. The gun and am- 
munition are retained, but the breech mechanism and 
carriage are new. 

The gun trunnions have been removed, clips 
added, to slide on the cradle guides, and an attach- 
ment at the breech end provided to connect the gun 
and the recoil buffer. 

The breech mechanism is of the Ehrhardt single 
motion pattern ; instead of a screw block, a wedge is 
used, sliding laterally in a recess cut through the 
breech end of the gun. The firing handle is on the 
piece itself, not on a non-recoiling part of the carriage, 
and so is pulled out of the firer's hand by the recoil. 


The recoil arrangements are on the same princi- 
ple as our own ; the length of recoil is 44 inches. 
Elevating and traversing gears also are similar to 
ours, but there appears to be no lock for them when 

Model '96 wheels, 53.3 inches in diameter, are re- 
tained. The height of the axis of the piece is 
40 inches. The shield is in three parts, somewhat 
like ours. 

In the matter of laying apparatus, the Germans 
have been very conservative. Panorama sights are 
looked upon as complicated contrivances, not reliable 
for service. Even ordinary telescopic sights seem 
to be regarded with suspicion. A set of instruments 
has been devised, and apparently officially adopted, 
which includes a telescopic sight on the left of the 
gun, and a separate appliance, not telescopic, on the 
right, for giving direction in indirect laying. But 
even this equipment has not won the unanimous ap- 
proval of artillery officers, many of whom, at least, 
still adhere to open sights. Direct fire is faivored; 
and indirect fire, when used, is often managed by 
some of the older methods. 

The muzzle velocity is low — 1,525 f. s. As al- 
ready stated, the ammunition is only semi-fixed ; it 
includes shrapnel and high explosive shell, both pro- 
vided with combination time and percussion fuzes. 
Each gun limber carries 36 rounds, each caisson 88. 
The weight of the gun, with limber filled, is about 
4,175 pounds. 

The French gun, about which so much has been 
written, is somewhat different from any of those 
above described. The essential distinction is in the 


recoil device, and, specifically, in the means adopted 
for returning the piece to battery after firing. 

This part of the carriage consists of three cylin- 
ders ; two contain liquid, the third, air under a com- 
pression of 12 atmospheres. When the gun is fired, 
the hydraulic cylinders act as already described to 
check the recoil at about 42 inches, but the return is 
accomplished by the pneumatic cylinder, the air con- 
tained therein being still further compressed by the 
motion of recoil. 

The weakness of this system is evidently the 
multiplication of stuffing boxes and valves, with con- 
sequent danger of leakage of oil or air. If the air 
pressure, from either of these causes, becomes re- 
duced, the gun does not return completely to battery. 
If it comes within 8 cm. of its true position, firing 
is safe; if it does not, it is necessary to bring up the 
pressure again. Marks are placed on the gun and 
buffer, to show whether or not return is complete. 

The gun is not perfectly stable in firing. To 
make it so it is necessary to anchor it by means of 
wheel shoes. 

The French claim that no serious difficulty is ex- 
perienced with this mechanism, and even insist that 
it is superior to the spring column ; but it should be 
said that in 1897, when this gun was adopted, the 
spring system was far from its present efficiency, it 
having been a matter of much time and labor to pro- 
duce suitable springs. Incidentally, the report may 
be mentioned that the hydro pneumatic feature is 
to be abandoned in a new gun projected for the French 
horse artillery. This gun, it is said, will be uniform 
in caliber with the present field gun, but lighter in 


The present gun is of nickel steel, caliber 75 mm., 
or 2.95 inches, length 35 calibers, weight of projectile 
nearly 16 pounds. The breech mechanism is the 
Deport eccentric screw. The breech block is cylin- 
drical, some 6 inches in diameter ; on one side of the 
axis it is cut out so as to leave a hole the size of the 
bore of the gun. This block is placed with its axis 
parallel to that of the gun, but lower, and so secured 
that it is capable of rotation only. When it is turned 
so that the cut-out side is up, the breech is open, for 
loading or ejection of an empty cartridge case ; when 
it is turned 180 degrees, the breech is closed and the 
firing pin is opposite the primer. 

The elevating system consists of two independent 
parts. One moves the gun and its recoil control- 
ling attachments with reference to the upper part of 
the carriage, and is controlled by a crank on the right 
side of the piece ; the other moves the whole upper 
carriage, to which is attached the sighting appa- 
ratus, and is operated by a hand wheel on the left 
side. The elevation corresponding to the range is 
given by the firing number, on the right. When in- 
direct laying is resorted to, a level on the left side is 
set by the laying number to the angle of site, and the 
bubble centered by means of the hand wheel. 

To lay in direction, an instrument called the 
*' collimator" is used. This has not the advantage of 
including a telescope, but it does away with the front 
sight, using instead an optical line of sight contained 
in the instrument itself. The collimator is mounted 
on the left side of the carriage, 46 inches from the 
ground, and a lengthening piece is provided for the 
standard by which it may be raised higher if desired ; 


it is capable of being turned about a vertical axis, 
and has a limb graduated in mils. 

The piece traverses on the axle, like the Russian 
gun ; the limits of traverse are about 50 mils on each 
side of the normal. The traversing hand wheel is 
on the left side. 

There are two separate shields, one on each side 
of the gun, the space at the top between them being 
unprotected. The ammunition is fixed, and includes 
shrapnel and high explosive shell. The weight be- 
hind the team is about 4,100 pounds. The muzzle 
velocity is 1,650 f. s. 

Since the Boer War, the English have insisted upon 
high power for their field guns. They experimented 
with 12- and 15-pounders from Armstrong, Maxim 
and Ehrhardt, but have now adopted a 3. 3 -inch 18^- 
pounder for field, and a 3-inch 12^ pounder for horse 
batteries. The ammunition is fixed, and the muzzle 
velocity is 1,610 f. s. for the 3.3-inch, 1,658 f. s. for the 
3-inch gun. Gun limbers hold 24 rounds, caisson 
limbers and bodies 38 each. The weights behind the 
teams are 4,350 and 3,400 pounds respectively. Both 
guns are of true rapid fire construction, but there are 
no peculiarities calling for mention here. 

Most other armies now have guns approximating 
more or less clOwSely to some of the types described. 
There now seems to be a tendency to go farther, and 
adopt some kind of semi-automatic breech mechanism. 

In this type, already familiar in naval and seacoast 
guns, the recoil actuates mechanism which opens the 
breech and ejects the empty cartridge case. A field 
gun on this principle is already in use in Mexico. 

The semi-automatic will probably come in time ; 
the true automatic probably not. This appears to 


have about reached its limit in the **potn-pom ; '* 
even if an automatic gun of sufficient caliber could be 
built, the difficulty of ammunition supply would neu- 
tralize its advantages. 

The *'pom.pom'* can hardly be considered as 
artillery, but since it has sometimes been spoken of 
and used as such, it may be well to discuss it here. 

It is simply an ordinary machine-gun, made large 
enough to throw an explosive shell; since 1868, four- 
teen ounces is, by international agreement, the mini- 
mum permissible weight for such a projectile The 
best known model is the Maxim, of 37 mm. (i 46 
inches) caliber, throwing a i -pound shell with 1,800 
f . s. muzzle velocity ; shrapnel is, of course, impossi- 
ble with this small caliber. 

Its first use in the field was by the Boers in the 
recent South African War. They had, as nearly as 
can be determined, nine pieces of this type, which 
were mounted on wheeled carriages, provided with 
shields, and treated in all respects as artillery. 

As to their actual efficiency there was a great dif- 
ference of opinion ; some rated it very high, others 
very low. Their moral effect was great, but it has 
been aptly said that **this can not be taken as an 
enduring asset, for men will soon discover that the 
bark is far worse than the bite, and act accordingly." 
Their actual effect on troops, especially mounted 
troops in the open, was considerable, but probably the 
same results could be obtained in most cases with 
rifle caliber machine-guns. 

On several occasions the ** pom-poms'* engaged 
field guns with fair success. But it is hardly likely 
that such a fight would be possible to-day ; the Eng- 
lish guns at that time, it will be remembered, were 


of old type and low power. With its carriage and 
shield the ** pom-pom** offers a target as large as a 
field gnn; it has inferior range and power, and must 
expose itself more in firing. 

Having introduced these guns at the time of the 
Boer War, the English have retained them, but they 
do not seem at all sure how to use them. At 
present they assign one to each cavalry regiment and 
mounted infantry battalion, forming in each such 
unit a machine gun platoon armed with this gun and 
one rifle caliber machine-gun. But they say little 
about the effect they expect from the '* pom-pom;*' 
the explanations most commonly seen for its reten- 
tion are, that it makes a good range finder for the 
rifle caliber machine-guns, because the bursts are so 
clearly visible; and that it is a first-rate thing for 
frightening horses. 

No other army has yet incorporated the ** pom- 
pom ** into its permanent organization. It may yet 
make its place as a recognized arm, as its elder 
brother, the rifle caliber machine-gun, has done; but 
so far its utility appears limited. It is too weak to 
^iigage field guns, and has more power than is neces- 
sary to engage rifles. 




Since the materiel with which the artilleryman 
has to deal has been so greatly altered, it has been 
necessary to make corresponding changes in the 
methods of handling it, both technical and tactical. 
The present chapter will deal with technical meth- 
ods — that is, methods of delivering and controlling 
fire — and will avoid, in so far as possible, questions 
of tactics — that is, of the use of that fire in action. 

The organization of the battery into platoons and 
sections has already been explained. Like any other 
fighting unit, the battery has, in addition to this 
permanent organization, certain special fighting or- 
ganizations and formations. Without goijag into de- 
tails, it may be said here that, in action, the first 
line, or firing battery, consists of the four gun sec- 
tions, and one caisson section, the fifth. 

On coming into action, the caisson of each gun 
section is placed abreast its piece, one foot to its left. 
(See Fig. 5, and frontispiece.) 

The gun is served by a squad of six men — the 
gunner, who is a corporal, and five privates. The 
gunner sits on the left trail seat; he has immediate 
command of the squad, and lays the piece, either for 
direction only, or for both direction and range. 


No. I sits on the right trail seat. He opens and 
closes the breech, lays for range when so ordered, 
and fires the piece. 

CaissoT) in Ht irnffrnrGun 

•Chl«f of Sectiory 

Fig. 5. 

No. 2 is posted in rear of the gunner ; he moves 
the trail as directed, so as to give the approximate 
direction, and loads the piece. 

The remaining cannoneers are posted behind the 
caisson body; No. 4 operates the fuze-setter and 
serves ammunition, the others assisting as he directs. 

One caisson of the fifth section is on each flank of 
the battery, on or near the line of guns. All Cctv- 

in 5/ 

f^'l' t^i\i dbi|i 

"^ (11 «^ 



In tfl 

I i 













Fig. 6 

riages, caissons as well as pieces, are unlimbered, and 
all limbers placed under cover, preferably on a flank. 
The normal interval between sections is 17 yards, 
measured between adjacent gun- wheels, or about 19 
yards from muzzle to muzzle. For convenience, this 
interval is taken as 20 yards in all numerical calcula- 
tions. (See Fig. 6.) 


The battery, placed as described, is ready for 
either direct or indirect fire. There has been some 
hair splitting as to the exact definitions of these 
terms ; but for present purposes we may take it that 
direct fire, or better, direct laying, is that method 
commonly employed when the target is clearly visi- 
ble through the sights ; indirect fire, or indirect lay- 
ing, that adopted when it is not so visible. 

The commands for firing always contain the in- 
formation necessary to enable the cannoneers to set 
their instruments correctly. This information is 
called firing data. 

For direct fire, each gunner sets his sight at the 
prescribed elevation and deflection, and aims his gun 
as he would a rifle. The only other instrument 
whose use is involved is the fuze setter in case of 
time shrapnel fire. The firing data for direct fire, 
then, are : 

1. Deflection. 

2. Corrector setting. 

3. Range. 

Indirect fire involves more details, which appear 
at first sight somewhat troublesome. 

Such fire may be delivered from any position, 
provided a place can be found for the battery com- 
mander's station from which both guns and target 
are visible ; or even, sometimes, when no such place 
is available, if an auxiliary observer can be stationed 
so as to note the fall of the shots and telephone or 
signal the results to the battery. It is only neces- 
sary to take care that, if any high obstacle intervene 
between battery and target, the position be far 
enough removed from it to jcause the trajectory to 


clear it. The following table shows how the ques- 
tion is affected by this limitation : 

SHRAPNEL: M. V. 1,700 F. S. 


Angle of 

Angle of Fall. 





0° 31.9^ 
1° 11.2^ 
1° 59.4" 
2° 56.7^ 
4° 01.8^ 

6° 28.7^ 
7° 54.2^ 
9° 28.5^ 
11° lO.I^ 
13° 01. 1^ 
15° 01.8^ 
17° 12.6^ 

0° 35.3^ 
. 1° 27.3^ 
2° 38.6^ 
4° 07.6^ 
5° 48.8^ 
7° 41.2^ 
9° 43.7^ 
12° 02.9^ 

14° 37.3' 
17° 26.C/ 
20° 29.0^ 
23° 40.g^ 
27° 06.8^ 
























The battery commander's station is preferably on 
a flank of the line of guns, approximately in pro- 
longation of it, or directly in rear of and above it. 
It should be near enough to allow the battery com- 
mander to keep in touch with both guns and station ; 
if necessary, a buzzer line is laid. 

The position of the station having been selected, 
the chief of the third platoon and the chief of the 
fifth section take post there, and set up and adjust 
the telescope ; it will be remembered that the com- 
mands of these two chiefs are broken up on going 
into action. The battery commander meanwhile 
notes the distance from the station to his right gun, 
which is the directing gun of the battery, and makes 
his first estimate of the range ; or, if time will per 
mit, the range can be measured with considerable ac 
curacy by means of the battery telescope. 


Since the gunners can not see the target, an aux- 
iliary point is next selected, upon which they may aim 
after setting off the proper deflection on the sights. 
The object chosen should be distinct and unmistak- 
able ; something tall and slender, such as a flag staff 
or church steeple, is best. It should preferably be a 
mile or more distant, the farther the better; this 
reduces its angular breadth, so minimizing the error 
which may arise from aiming at different parts of it, 
gives more convenient numbers for use in the calcu- 
lation of deflection, and reduces the effect of inaccuracy 
in estimating the range to the point, — for this range, 
as well as that to the target, is noted and used in the 

The problem is, to determine the deflection that must 
be set off on the sight, so that when the sight is brought to 
bear upon the aiming point, the gun shall be trained upon 
the target. A verbal description of the process of 
solution may sound a trifle complicated, but in actual 
practice, after a little experience, the complication is 
not felt. 

The determination of this angle requires that 
three other angles be known. These are, (i) the 
angle at the battery commander's station between the 
aiming point and the target (marked B in Fig. 7); 
(2) the angle at the target between the directing gun 
and the battery commander's station (T); and (3) the 
angle at the aiming point between the directing gun 
and the battery commander's station (P). The bat- 
tery commander's station has here been assumed on 
the right flank of the line of guns ; but the same 
principles apply for other locations. 

Of these three angles, the first may be directly 
measured with the battery commander's telescope or 


rule, in the same manner as with a transit ; it will be 
remembered that the readings of these instruments- 
are not in degrees and minutes, but in mils. 

The other two angles can not be directly measured,, 
but must be computed. The data for the computa- 
tion are, the ranges to the target and aiming pointy 
and the distance between the. directing gun and the 
battery commander's station. 




AimiTig point. 

Fig. 7. 

It has already been explained that one mil is the 
equivalent of a lateral displacement equal to Yinr^ ^^ 
the range. Therefore, the range being known, the 
value of a mil in linear measure is obtained by simply 
pointing ofif three places. Dividing this value into 
the distance between the directing gun and the bat- 
tery commander's station will give the value in mils 
of the second angle required ; and a repetition of the 
same process, using the range to the aiming point, 
will give the third. 

Referring again to Fig. 7, it will be noted that 


the required deflection is the angle marked G. In 
, the two triangles B P X and G T X, the angles at X 
are evidently equal. Hence — 

B + P = G + T, or 
G = B + P — T. 

This, of course, is merely an outline of the prin- 
ciples upon which the solution depends. In practice, 
various simple expedients are adopted for facilitating 
the calculations, which may be very quickly made in 
the note book, or in many cases mentally. The al- 
gebraic signs of all the elements must be kept care- 
fully in mind ; for example, if the aiming point is in 
rear of the line of guns, as is usually the case, the 
value of P is given the negative sign. 

If the direction of the aiming point is very far 
from the normal to the battery front, a correction must 
be applied to these results, since the measurement of 
an angle in mils is accurate only when the successive 
lateral displacements are laid oflf as tangents to a circle 
of which the range is the radius, — or, what is nearly 
the same thing for small angles, on a single tangent 
thereto. This correction is made by multiplying the 
distance between the directing gun and the battery 
commander^s station, by the trigonometric sine of 
the angle between the battery front and the line 
from telescope to aiming point, and using this ** vir- 
tual distance" in place of the true one. A similar 
correction is necessary if the battery commander's 
station is very much in front or rear of the line of 
guns, or if the battery front is very oblique to the 
.line of fire; in practice, however, these last correc- 
tions are seldom necessary. In applying corrections, 
use may be made of correction tables, which are 


often carried in complete form. A brief table, giv- 
ing only a few values, is engraved on the back of the 
battery commander's rule, mentioned above ; another 
plan is to use the following table, showing the angles, 
in mils, corresponding to the natural sines, o.i, 0.2, 
etc., which, being very brief, may easily be carried 
in the note book, or memorized : 

Angle, Nat. 

Mils. Sin. 

102 O.I 

205 0.2 

310 0.3 

421 0.4 

533 0.5 

655 'V 0.6 

790 !. 0.7 

945 ••• 0.8 

1 141 09 

It is true that one important element in this cal- 
culation, range, is not certainly known, but only ap- 
proximated. However, with the battery commander's 
station near the battery, the error in range finding 
must be very considerable to cause a serious error in 
the angle. And if it be objected that the process is 
too long and intricate, it must be remembered that it 
is usually done at leisure, before the enemy can have 
any knowledge of the position or even of the presence 
of the battery, which remains in concealment. It 
has for its object the accurate placing of the first shot, 
in order to facilitate observation and ranging; and if 
it can accomplish this, the time is well spent, since 
after the first shot the enemy has his warning. If 
there is need of haste, the process can be abbreviated 

• 68 

as much as desired, by sacrificing some of its ac- 

Another method is to use the telescope itself as a 
provisional aiming point. In Fig. 7, considering only 
the triangle GBT— 

G + B + T = 180° = 3,200 mils 
... G = 3,200 mils — (B + T) 

B can be measured with the telescope, and T 
computed as before; G thus becomes known. The 
guns being once directed upon the target, an aiming 
point other than the telescope may be used if desired, 
its angular distance from the telescope being read by 
each gunner independently, from his gun sight. 

The angle of site has next to be measured. Since 
the gunner cannot, in general, see the target, this 
cannot be done directly, but the angle of site at the 
battery commander*s station can be measured with 
the telescope, and corrected for difference of level 
between gun and station. This angle is needed in 
order that the clinometer of the range quadrant may 
be set. 

The firing data are now complete for the directing 
gun; but before proceeding farther it is necessary to 
determine how the fire of the other pieces is to be 
distributed on the target. 

The old method of distribution is still applicable 
when the fire is direct. This is called ** individual 
distribution,*' and consists simply in assigning to 
each gunner a separate part of the target upon which 
to aim. 

In ** collective distribution," all the pieces have 
the same aiming point, but the deflection set off on 
the different sights is not the same, increasing or 


decreasing from that of the directing gun in arithmet- 
ical progression. 

By changing the common difference of the series 
the fire of the whole battery may be made to con- 
verge upon a single point, or to diverge as much as 
desired. The lines of fire of the pieces, thus dis- 
tributed, constitute the ** sheaf of fire.** 

In this method of distribution, indirect fire is 
habitually used, but the method is also applicable to 
direct fire, in which case the common aiming point is 
some conspicuous part of the target. 

The firing data for indirect fire then include the 
following elements: 

1. Deflection of right piece. 

2. Deflection difference. 

3. Angle of site. 

4. Corrector setting. 

5. Range. 

With this information the battery is ready to 
open fire. But as all the data are merely approxima- 
tions, more or less close, it is not expected that the 
guns will be on the target accurately at the first shot. 
Hence the battery commander must correct his data 
by what is called *'fire for adjustment." This may 
be executed in three ways — by battery salvos, by pla- 
toon salvos, and by piece. The method to be adopted 
depends upon circumstances, such as the nature of 
the target, the facility of observing the fire, the avail- 
able supply of ammunition, etc. 

Either shell, time shrapnel or percussion shrap- 
nel may be used ; usually that projectile and fuze are 
adopted which are intended to be used in the subse- 
quent fire for effect. When time shrapnel is used 


the first bursts are generally made lower than the 
normal, to facilitate observation. 

The principle of adjustment is, to establish a 
** bracket**; that is, to get one group of shots over 
and one short, and then narrow the limits of error as 
much as circumstances require and time permits; at 
the same time distribution and height of burst are 
observed, and the necessary amount of accxxracy in 
these elements obtained. 

In adjusting by battery salvos, all the pieces are 
loaded and laid as directed ; the guns are then fired 
in turn, beginning at either flank, with an interval of 
about three seconds between shots. The battery 
commander then announces any necessary correc- 
tions in range and height of burst, and makes such 
alterations as he sees fit in the distribution of the 
fire, either shifting the whole sheaf to the right or 
left by changing the deflection of the right gun, or 
opening or closing the lines of fire, like the sticks of 
a fan, by changing the deflection difference. If a 
single shot is out of its proper place in the sheaf, 
the chief of platoon, in case of direct laying, makes 
the necessary changes to place it correctly on the 
next salvo ; in indirect laying the battery commander 
makes this correction also. 

Adjustment by platoon salvos or by piece is con- 
ducted in the same way. except that a single platoon 
or piece is designated to do the firing. The other 
pieces are kept constantly laid with the firing data 
last announced, but are not loaded. When the ad- 
justment appears satisfactory, a battery salvo is gen- 
erally fired for final verification. 

**Fire for effect" is then taken up. This may be 


conducted in four ways : — continuous fire, volley fire^ 
zone fire and fire at will. 

Continuous fire is the old " fire by piece ** ; the guns 
are fired in regular rotation from one flank of the 
battery to the other, at such intervals as may be di- 

Fire at will is used for close defense. Fuzes are 
set at zero and sights at i,ooo yards ; each piece fires 
as rapidly as possible, the gunner aiming only roughly. 
The shrapnel bursting at the muzzle, the bullets are 
effective up to 500 yards ; the elevation correspond- 
ing to 1 ,000 yards is found to give a good distribu- 
tion over the whole 500 yards depth. This proced- 
ure establishes a beaten zone through which it is 
almost impossible for troops to pass. 

The other kinds of fire are delivered intermit- 
tently, or by ** rafales.** This is a term borrowed 
from the French drill regulations ; its technical sense 
is explained by its literal meaning, a sudden, short 
gust or squall. 

A ** volley** consists of a specified number of 
rounds, fired by each piece independently of the 
others, as rapidly as is consistent with accuracy. It 
may be fired either with or without ** sweeping.'* 

In a volley *' without sweeping,*' the number of 
rounds fired is variable, and is announced in the 
command. All sights are kept directed upon the 
target or aiming point during the firing, with no 
change in the firing data. The breadth of the zone 
which can be thus covered by a four-gun battery evi- 
dently depends upon the spread of the bullets of the 
individual shrapnel ; this varies with the range and 
height of burst, but may be taken at 25 yards, giving 


loo yards as the breadth of beaten zone for the bat- 

To cover a broader zone, the sheaf of fire may be 
shifted laterally after each volley or series of volleys ; 
or sweeping fire may be used. To fire a volley 
"sweeping,** the lines of fire of the pieces are first 
caused to diverge, by properly apportioning the target 
in case of direct laying, or by using a suitable deflec- 
tion difference in case of indirect laying ; each sight 
is then directed upon the right-hand portion of its 
own target, or upon the aiming point, and the first 
shot fired. The number of rounds is always four, 
and after the first one no aiming for direction is 
attempted ; the piece is traversed to the left after 
each shot by a half turn of the hand wheel, which 
changes the direction four mils. The volley being 
completed, each piece is traversed back to its original 
direction. The breadth of the zone covered by such 
a volley depends upon the range; the maximum is 
about 400 yards, at 6,000 yards range. At 3,000 
yards, the breadth of the zone would be about 250 

The depth of the zone covered varies considerably 
with the range. A single ** well-adjusted** shrapnel, 
— that is, one fired with the correct range and burst at 
about the normal height of three mils, — covers effec- 
tively 200 yards in depth, up to 3,000 yards range. 
Beyond that range, the depth diminishes consider- 
ably, since the angle of fall is steeper. At 4,500 
yards, for example, the beaten zone of the single 
shrapnel has fallen off to 125 yards. 

On account of the errors of gun and fuze, of course, 
the dispersion of several rounds is a little greater 
than this. Experiments show that with volley fire. 


two or tQore rounds per gun, we may expect a beaten 
zone about 250 yards deep at 3,000 yards range, and 
150 yards deep at 4,500 yards. 

If, then, it is impracticable to range accurately, or 
if the target has great depth, volleys must be fired at 
several successive ranges. A convenient method of 
doing this is to use '*zone fire,** in which each piece 
fires three rounds at each of four ranges 100 yards 
apart, or twelve rounds in all. The firing is com- 
menced at the range given in the command, and 
carried on continuously at each gun until the twelve 
rounds have been fired, the chiefs of section directing 
increases of range at the proper time without further 

If this standard method does not satisfy the re- 
quirements of the case, the battery commander uses 
volley fire, changing his range at will from volley to 
volley. By making his volleys ** sweeping,** he may 
increase both the breadth and depth of the beaten 

Of course such fire may cause great expenditure 
of ammunition. This is drawn, in the first instance, 
from the caisson placed beside each piece. From 
time to time, as opportunity offers, it is replaced 
from the caissons of the fifth section, one of which is 
unlimbered on each flank of the battery. These, 
when empty, are replaced by another caisson section 
and sent back to refill, or exchanged for full caissons 
from the ammunition column. 

If necessary, the caissons of the gun sections draw 
ammunition from their own limbers and from those 
of the guns. This, however, is exceptional; the am- 
munition in these limbers, especially in the gun 


limbers, is regarded as an emergency supply,'and, if 
used, is replaced at the earliest opportunity. 

To minimize the danger of error, the commands 
for firing, which contain the firing data, are always 
given in a stereotyped form, the elements following 
each other in a fixed order. First comes the desig- 
nation of the target or aiming point ; then the method 
of fire; then the firing data in the order above stated. 
The last item is always the range ; announcement of 
this is taken as an order to load. 

Thus for a battery salvo the commands would be : 

. Direct Laying,— {i) ** Target ." (2) '^By 

battery from the right (or left).** (3) '* Deflection 

.*' (4) "Corrector *' (if time shrapnel is 

used; otherwise designation of projectile, ** Percus- 
sion shrapnel," or "SheH**). f5) ** Range .** 

Indirect Laying, — (i) '^Aiming point ." (2) 

**By battery from the .** (3) '* Deflection .*' 

(4) ** Increase,** (or ''Diminish**) "by .*' (5) 

"Angle of site .** (6) "Corrector ,** (or des- 
ignation of projectile). (7) "Range .** 

The piece being loaded and laid, the gunner calls 
" Ready ; ** the chief of section then faces the battery 
commander and raises his right hand. When all 
pieces are signaled ready, the battery commander 
gives the command or signal "Commence firing;** 
the signal is made by raising the hand and bringing 
it sharply down to the side again. The pieces are • 
fired in turn, from the flank designated, by command 
of the chiefs of section. 

In subsequent firing only such data is contained 
in the command as it is desired to change; except 
that the range is always repeated, this being the final 
element and being understood as an order to load. 


In firing other than by salvo, the commands differ 
from those instanced above only in that part desig- 
nating the kind of fire ; for example : 

** Continue the fire, from the right (left), interval 

** Volley fire, rounds.** 

"Volley fire, sweeping.** 

*' Zone fire.** 

In all volley and zone fire, and in fire at will, the 
gunners give the command of execution; in other 
cases the chiefs of section. 

Chiefs of platoon repeat all firing data as given 
by the battery commander, and in addition, in indi- 
rect laying, announce the deflection setting for each 
of their pieces. 

^If more convenient the battery commander has 
his chiefs of platoon report to him at his station be- 
fore opening fire, and personally indicates to them 
the target or aiming point. If time permits, he 
sometimes has chiefs of section and gunners also re- 
port, and communicates to them all or a part of the 
firing data. If this is not done, the commands may 
be given by megaphone or telephone. 

The duties of the battery commander in the tech- 
nical handling of his battery in action, are designated 
by the term ** conduct of fire." The tactical man- 
agement of the fire is called **fire direction." Usually 
'* conduct of fire** is the affair of the battery com- 
mander; **fire direction," that of the commander of 
the higher unit. This matter will be discussed 
further in the chapter on tactics ; but it will be con- 
venient at this point to consider the means by which 
both kinds of control are exercised. 

It is all a matter of communications. The more 


the means of communication are improved, the freer 
are the commanders to post themselves where they 
may get the best knowledge of the situation, and 
their troops where they may best act. To eflfect the 
communications necessary for its own internal man- 
agement in action, without calling upon other troops 
for aid, every artillery unit is provided with suitable 
signal equipment, and has permanent details of 
officers and men, trained in using it. 

The signal equipment of all units includes *' buz- 
zers" or other field telephones, and signal flags. In 
addition each battery is provided with megaphones, 
and each battalion and regiment with a heliograph 
and an acetylene lantern. In laying telephone lines 
the battery always uses buzzer wire and hand reels; 
battalions and regiments are provided with both 
buzzer and field wire, and have each a four horse 
cart (or in mountain regiments two pack-mules) to 
carry wire and instruments. 

In each battery, the chief of the third platoon is 
the ** reconnaissance and signal officer." His signal 
detail consists of one corporal and four privates, who 
are selected for their special aptitude and assigned 
to the fifth section. The corporal has immediate 
charge of the establishment of battery communica- 
tions proper, — that is, communications of the battery 
commander with his guns, or with an auxiliary ob- 
servation station. The corporal and No. i of the 
detail act as telephone operators on this line. 

The battery is provided with a third telephone, 
which is intended to be connected with the battalion 
commander's line. No. 2 acts as operator on this line. 

Nos. 3 and 4 are line guards, and are habitually 


mounted. They are used as required, on battery, 
battalion or regimental lines. 

The battalion sergeant major, under the direction 
of the battalion adjutant, is responsible for establish- 
ing the battalion commander's line to the batteries, 
and for assigning line guards ; he also acts as opera- 
tor at the battalion commander's station. Each bat- 
talion has a second telephone, which is used on the 
regimental line, or to connect with an auxiliary ob- 
servation station ; extra operators that may be re- 
quired are assigned from the battalion scouts and 
agents of communication, whose method of detail and 
proper duties are explained in the next chapter. 

The regimental line runs from regimental head- 
quarters to each battalion, and to an auxiliary ob- 
serving station if used When this line is required, 
the regimental sergeant major, under direction of the 
regimental adjutant, performs the same duties in es- 
tablishing and maintaining it as just described for 
the battalion sergeant major on battalion lines. He 
assumes control over all line guards ; if an additional 
operator is required, a regimental agent of communi- 
cation (see next chapter) is assigned to him. 

Rapid fire materiel, it will be seen, makes it pos- 
sible to use artillery in ways which were impossible, 
or very difficult, with older types, while it is still pos- 
sible to use it in all the old ways. The question con- 
sequently arises, how far should we alter our old 
methods? Should we adhere closely to them, preserv- 
ing the advantages of their simplicity, and treat the 
new powers as a reserve, to be utilized in case of need? 
Or should we pass frankly over to the new ideas, and 
hold on to the old methods only for use in case the 
more complicated new ones fail? 


The French, the pioneers in this field, have 
adopted the second plan. They make indirect' laying 
a normal procedure ; it is recognized that positions in 
the open will frequently be necessary or advisable, 
but advantage is taken of a mask wherever possible. 

It will be noted that the term mask, not protection, 
is used. A masked or covered position, even when 
the form of the ground itself furnishes the mask, 
does not as a rule give actual protection, as is some- 
times thoughtlessly assumed ; for when a position is 
such that guns can fire out of it, other guns can cer- 
tainly fire into it. Concealment is what is sought; 
a battery well masked is exceedingly difiicult to lo- 
cate, and from twelve to fifteen feet of cover will 
conceal even the flashes of the guns. 

The difficulty of finding a well concealed battery 
is illustrated by the experience of Lieutenant Colonel 
Patchenko's battery, the Second, of the Ninth East 
Siberian Rifle Division, at the battle of Tashihchiao, 
July 24, 1904. This battery fought for fifteen hours, 
from 5 A. M. to 8 P. M., against six Japanese batteries, 
which could not find complete cover, at times silenc- 
ing them and compelling them to change position. 
Not a shot reached this battery until, at 5 P. M., 
another Russian battery took position near it, with 
less complete cover ; after this it suffered some loss 
from shots directed at the other battery. 

In the conduct of fire, also, the French habitually 
utilize the peculiar properties of the rapid fire gun. 
Colonel Gordon, of the English artillery, sums up 
thus the principles upon which they work : 

**The changes that have been introduced are 
based on the supposition that a storm of shrapnel 


bursting over a given area of ground will paralyze 
every movement within that area. As the suddenness 
of the squall is an important factor, time must not 
be wasted in exact ranging, though every precaution 
is taken to conceal the battery and make every pos- 
sible preparation before the first shot is fired. -^^ ^ ^ 
The French theory is dependent on rapidity; they 
count on hitting the enemy before he can hit back, 
or knocking him down when he is not looking and 
keeping him down; and to do this they sacrifice 
exact ranging to rapidity, and trust to the storm area 
including the enemy somewhere, and to its being 
violent enough to reduce him to inaction." 

The action of a French battery, it will be seen, is 
intermittent. It opens fire suddenly, sufficient prep- 
aration having been made beforehand to insure the 
first shot being a fairly good one ; little time is then 
spent in verification of the firing data, but rapid vol- 
ley fire, progressive and sweeping, is distributed for 
a few minutes over an area sufficiently large to in- 
clude the target ; the fire then ceases for a time. 

The German regulations represent the opposite, 
.or ultra-conservative views. They still favor direct 
fire as the habitual method, although ready to resort 
to indirect laying on occasion ; their favorite position 
is behind the crest of a hill, near enough the top to 
enable the gunner to see the target through his 

As regards methods of fire, the G-ermans continue 
to hold to accurate ranging and steady, continuous 
fire, both in order to economize ammunition, and to 
spare the nerves of the gunners the strain of very 
rapid firing except in special cases. 


The tendency, even in Germany, however, is to- 
ward further modification of methods ; and it seems 
probable that the next edition of the German regula- 
tions will reflect this tendency. 

In the United States, prevailing ideas incline to- 
ward the French rather than the German. The dis- 
advantages of covered positions are recognized, but 
the advantages also are fully appreciated ; hence the 
effort is constantly to minimize the disadvantages^ 
by improvements in methods, so as to make it possi- 
ble to get the advantages more frequently. The de- 
sirability of acting by surprise, so as to get in effec- 
tive shots before the enemy can do so, is accepted. It 
is admitted that this may cause great expenditure of 
ammunition, and hence great efforts are made to pro- 
vide it. Efforts are also made to minimize this ex- 
penditure by ranging as accurately as possible under 
the circumstances of each case, but when time or the 
difficulties of observation prevent great accuracy, no 
hesitation is felt about opening zone fire with a very 
wide bracket. 

In this connection, a few figures as to ammunition 
expenditure in the past may be of interest. 

1813. Battle of Leipzig: Average for the Aus- 
trian guns, 199 rounds per gun in the three days, or 
66 per gun per day. 

1863. Battle of Gettysburg : Federal average for 
the 320 guns in action, 102 rounds per gun in the 
three days, or 34 per gun per day. Greatest expendi- 
ture reported by any one battery, 1,380 rounds in 
three days, by battery **G,'* Fourth U. S. Artillery — 
an average of 'j'j rounds per gun per day. 

The Confederate reports are incomplete, but the 
expenditure was approximately 100 rounds in the 


three days for each gun engaged. The greatest re 
ported expenditure by one battery was 882 rounds 
for four guns, or 73 per gun per day. 

1866. Greatest expenditure in one day by a Prus 
sian battery, 180 rounds per gun, at Blumenau; by an 
Austrian battery, 217 per gun, at Koniggratz. 

1870. Vionville: Prussian average, 89 rounds 
per gun; 35 per cent, of the batteries fired over 100 
rounds per gun. 

Gravelotte : Prussian average, 55 rounds per gun; 
16 per cent, of the batteries fired over 100 rounds per 
gun. French average, 90 rounds per gun ; 86 per 
cent, of the batteries fired over 100 per gun, but no 
battery fired more than the supply normally carried 
with it in caissons and limbers. 

1904. The expenditure was greatest on the Rus- 
sian side. At the Sha-ho. the artillery of the Thirty- 
fifth Division averaged 278 rounds per gun per day. 
At Liaoyang, the artillery of the First and Third Si- 
berian Corps averaged 420 rounds per gun per day. 
Colonel Patchenko's battery, above mentioned, fired 
at Tashihchiao 522 rounds per gun; this is the greatest 
expenditure reported for a single battery on one day. 




Hohenlohe says, in his ** Letters on Artillery": 
"Judging: from my own experiences in war, — and 
you will own that in matters connected with artillery 
they are fairly numerous, — the only movements 
which are of use in the field are, the advance in col- 
umn of route, deployments, and the advance in line/' 

The spirit of this remark, if not the remark itself, 
was in the minds of the writers of our present Pro- 
visional Drill Regulations. Drill movements have 
been limited to what seems an irreducible minimum, 
and those that are retained are simplified to the 
utmost. Paragraph i reads: '* Preparedness for 
war is the goal to be kept constantly in view in all 
peace training. No refinements of drill ground 
instruction or other minor details must be allowed to 
obscure this definite goal or impede progress toward 
its attainment.** This idea is plainly in evidence 
throughout the book. 

It is unnecessary for present purposes to go into 
details of battery instruction. For those who wish 
to do this the drill book itself is the best source of 
information. But to the description of methods of 
fire which has already been given, it is desired to 
add an explanation of the assembly, marching and 


fighting formations, and of the methods of passing 
from one to another, so as to enable one who sees 
artillery maneuvering to understand what it is doing. 
And to the discussion of signal communications will 
be added some mention of the further means pro- 
vided for maintaining connection between units, and 
for obtaining such special information as is necessary 
to enable artillery to act intelligently, efficiently, and 

Caisson Corp Chief of Section 

Section Colum-n 
cc.(j|||k ts^M 

Flank Column 

Double Section 

Formation of a Section 
Fig. 8. 

The basis of all drill movements is the section. 
This, it will be remembered, may consist either of a 
gun and caisson or of two caissons. It has three for- 
mations, section column, flank column and double 
section. (See Fig. 8.) 

In section column one carriage follows the other 
at two yards distance. In flank column the two 
carriages are abreast, with seventeen yards interval. 


In double section the two carriages are abreast, with 
two yards interval. This last formation is peculiar 
in that it is maneuvered as if it were a single carriage. 
For example, if a section is in either of the other 
formations, and the command ''left about** is given, 
each carriage executes the movement separately, and 
the relative order of the two is reversed ; but if it is 
in double section, the pivot carriage executes the 
movement as if alone, the other conforming to it, and 
the relative position is preserved. 

Double section is not only a convenient march 
and maneuver formation, permitting the shortening 
of the column by a half -v^henever its front, six yards, 
is not too great, but it is a means of transition from 
march to fighting formation. 

It has been explained in the preceding chapter 
that in the firing position the gun and caisson are 
abreast, one foot apart, caisson on the left. It is evi- 
dent, then, that much movement of the carriages by 
hand is avoided by forming double section before 
unlimbering; arid this is always done. 

In unlimbering and limbering, the gunner is in 
charge at the piece, aided by No. i ; No. 4 is in 
charge at the caisson, aided by No. 5 ; Nos. 2 and 3 
assist by manning the wheels of either carriage as re- 
quired. When much movement by hand is necessary, 
all the men work together, and move the carriages 

The carriages may be unlimbered to fire in any 
direction by the commands, ** Action front (rear, 
right or left)." 

If it is intended to fire to the front, double section 
is formed with the caisson on the left. Upon un- 
limbering, the caisson body is already faced in the 


proper direction ; it is established on the desired 
line, and determines the position for the gun. This 
is turned about so that the muzzle points to the front, 
and placed beside the caisson. Unless a trench is 
dug to hold the trail spade, the gun is run a foot or 
so ahead of its true position, to allow for the recoil 
which takes place at the first shot, when the trail 
spade has not yet buried itself. 

To fire to the rear, the carriages are placed in 
double section with the caisson on the right. When 
the piece is unlimbered, its trail is lowered directly 
to the ground ; the* caisson is turned about and placed 
in the position thus determined for it, beside the gun. 

To fire to a flank, double section is formed with 
the caisson on either side of the piece. After un- 
limbering, the carriage on the side toward which fire 
is to be delivered is first established in position, and 
all the cannoneers assist in bringing the other up to 
its place. 

In all these movements, it will be seen, the car- 
riage which requires the less man handling is es- 
tablished to mark the position, and the other then 
placed beside it, in such a manner that, when the 
movement is completed, gun muzzle and caisson 
trail are pointing in the same direction, and the 
caisson is on the left. To avoid confusion in tracing 
out these maneuvers, it must not be forgotten that 
the front of a carriage limbered is the direction in 
which the horses are facing ; of a gun unlimbered, the 
direction of the muzzle ; of a caisson unlimbered, the 
direction of the trail. 

The limbers, in service, are placed under cover 
somewhere in the neighborhood, preferably on a 
flank, out of the line of shots directed at the guns ; at 


ceremonies, they are twenty-five yards in rear of the 
line, facing to the front. 

Before firing, and either before or after unlimber- 
ing, the carriages must be ** prepared for action." 
By this is meant, that the elevating and traversing 
gear is unlocked and inspected; sights and quadrant 
placed in position; shields unfolded and secured; 
breech and muzzle covers removed ; and breech 
mechanism examined. Before limbering, ** march 
order'* is resumed. 

The easiest way to limber is "front and rear.** 
In doing this, the limbers approach their carriages 
and separate, caisson limber passing across the front 
and piece limber across the rear of the position. 
When the limber axle is opposite the piece or caisson 
trail, the limber is halted and swung ninety degrees 
on its own ground, so that caisson horses are facing 
to the front and piece horses to the rear, and then 
backed slightly. This places them both conveniently 
for limbering, without moving either carriage by 

Often, however, this simple method is impracti- 
cable, as, for instance, if the firing position is just 
in rear of the crest of a hill, so that the caisson 
horses would be exposed if they moved out in front 
of their carriage. The section may then limber 
**rear." The caisson is brought about, trail to the 
rear; the piece is run to the rear ten yards. The 
limbers move up to the trails of their respective car- 
riages as before, but both are then swung around so 
that the teams face to the rear. Running the piece 
to the rear gives the necessary room for the caisson 
team to maneuver in limbering. 

The formations of the battery are, essentially, 


only two — the sections abreast of each other, in line,, 
or following each other in column. But several 
varieties of each are distinguished, since the sections 
themselves may be ia any one of the formations 
above described. 

The following descriptions of formations are 
quoted from the Drill Regulations : 

**373- The habitual formations are the order in 
line^ the order in section column^ the order in flank column^ 
and the order in battery, 

"374. The order in line is that in which the sec- 
tions of the battery are formed abreast of each other 
in the order, or the reverse order, of their numbers, 
from right to left. The carriages are limbered, and 
in each section are in section column, the pieces being 
either in front or in rear of their caissons. In the 
normal order in park the pieces are usually in front. 

"If the carriages of each section are in double 
section, the formation is called a double section line, 

" 375- The order in section column is that in which 
the sections of the battery follow each other in the 
order, or the reverse order, of their numbers, from 
front to rear. The carriages are limbered, and in 
each. section are in section column, the pieces being 
either in front or in rear of their caissons. 

"If the carriages of each section are in double 
section the formation is called a double sectio7i column, 

"376. The order in flank column is that in which 
the sections of the battery follow each other in the 
order, or the reverse order, of their numbers, from 
front to rear. The carriages are limbered, and in 
each section are in flank column, the caissons being 
all either on the right or left of their pieces. 


''367- On subdivision for action, the battery is 
divided into th^ firing battery, the reserve and the train, 

** The firing battery comprises the first five sections. 
It is under the immediate command of the captain. 

"The reserve comprises the sixth, seventh and 
eighth sections ; the store wagon ; the reserve men 
and horses, and at least one pair of harnessed wheel 
horses and one pair of harnessed lead horses. It is 
commanded by the junior lieutenant, who is assisted 
by the stable sergeant. 

**The train comprises the forge, the kit wagons, 
and the ration and forage wagons. It is commanded 
by the quartermaster sergeant." 

"377- The order in battery is that in which the 
pieces and caissons of the gun sections, unlimbered 
for action, are placed in line in the order, or the re- 
verse order, of their numbers, from right to left; 
the caissons of the fifth section, unlimbered, one on 
each flank of this line ; and the limbers either in 
rear of their unlimbered carriages, or formed at such 
other place as the captain may direct. 

*'The reserve, consisting of such other caissons, 
etc., as may be present, is posted at the discretion of 
the captain. 

** 378. In line and in flank column, the normal inter- 
val between carriages, measured between adjacent 
wheels, is seventeen yards. In the order in battery 
the interval is the same, but is measured between 
adjacent wheels of gun carriages. 

*'379. In column or in line, the distance between 
two carriages, or between a carriage and a mounted 
squad, is two yards, except that in flank column the 
distance between caissons is four yards ; and, in line. 


when the pieces lead, the distance between caissons 
of the caisson sections is four yards. In battery, 
when the limbers take post in rear of their carriages, 
the distance between the line of pieces and the 
limbers is twenty-fiv^ yards, measured from the rear 
of the caissons to the heads of the lead horses." 

Suitable means are provided for passing from one 
formation to another, but only those aflFecting prep- 
aration for action, formation in battery, and resump- 
tion of march formation, seem to require mention 

Preparatory to going into action the command, 
**Form and prepare for action," is given. Each car- 
riage of the firing battery is prepared for action, and 
the battery subdivided, as explained in Par. 367 of 
the Drill Regulations, quoted above ; the reconnais- 
sance and signal officer (chief of third platoon), and 
the reserve and train commanders report to the bat- 
tery commander for orders. 

If the command is simply **Form for action," the 
battery is subdivided, but the carriages remain in 
** march order." This might be done, for example, 
where it was desired to have reserve and train march 
at the rear of the whole column, thus allowing the 
infantry to close up forward. 

Before urilimbering, the firing battery forms 
double section line or column, — the former to un- 
limber front or rear, the latter to un limber to a flank. 
If the limbers are not to take their drill ground posi- 
tion, in rear of the carriages, the battery commander 
gives instructions to the first sergeant as to where 
they are to be posted ; as soon as the carriages are un- 
limbered the limbers wheel to the rear, clear the line 


of guns, are formed in column by the first sergeant, 
and conducted by him to their posts. Drivers are 
then dismounted, and the senior caisson corporal 
placed in charge; the first sergeant returns to the 
firing battery. It is the duty of the non commis- 
sioned officer in charge of the limbers to provide for 
communication with the battery commander, so that 
the limbers shall come up promptly at the command 
or signal for limbering. 

All mounted men with the firing battery dis- 
mount ; their horses are led oflf by the drivers, except 
those of the battery commander, first sergeant, musi- 
cians and orderlies, which are kept near the battery 
under cover. 

In the absence of special instructions, the caissons 
of the fifth section separate at the command for un- 
limbering, and are placed on the flanks as already 
described. The section is reassembled by its chief, 
without orders, immediately after limbering. 

If the battery has been limbered ** front and rear,'* 
it may march in line to its original front at the com- 
mand, *' Caissons front, March" ; the pieces execute a 
right about and follow their caissons in section 
column. In like manner it may march in line to the 
rear at the command, ** Pieces front, March," or in 
column to a flank at the commands, ** Flank column'* 
(or "Double section"), '* pieces by the right (or 
left) flank, March;" the caissons regulate the march 
on the pieces, taking the designated formation. Hav- 
ing limbered **rear," the march is taken up in a simi- 
lar manner. 

If it is desired simply to form the battery, without 
marching off, the command is, "Form double section 
line, March." If the battery has been limbered 


** front and rear/* the caissons stand fast; the pieces 
incline to the right, turn to the left about, and come 
up on the right of the caissons. If the battery has 
limbered *'rear," the pieces stand fast and the cais- 
sons move up on their left. 

The formations of the battalion and regiment are 
simply combinations of those of the battery. The 
normal interval between batteries in line or in battery 
is twice that between sections of a battery; distance 
between batteries in column, one carriage length. 

In column of batteries, where each battery is in line, 
full distance is battery front ; closed distance is carriage 
length. A battalion in column of batteries at closed 
distance is said to be in mass. Full interval in a line 
of columns is battery length ; closed interval, carriage 

Between battalions all intervals and distances are 
double those between batteries. 

Some description has already been given of the 
system of signal communications used within artillery 
units, for fire direction and conduct of fire. But 
these means are not sufficient to provide for the 
necessary connection at all times between artillery 
troops and commanders; hence men are detailed from 
each unit as ''agents of communication." Further, 
it is constantly found necessary to send men out to a 
greater or less distance, to secure special informa 
tion necessary to facilitate the movement or employ- 
ment of artillery ; hence scouts are detailed in each 

The men permanently assigned to these duties 
are selected for their aptitude, and given special 
training. The general training is naturally some- 
what similar for both classes, and, as each may often 


be called upon to perforin the duties of the other, or 
of the signal meti, all are instructed in all three kinds 
of work. 

The principle upon which agents of communica- 
tion work is, that it is the business of every unit to 
provide for communication with the next higher com- 
mander. Each battery sends a corporal to report to 
the battalion commander ; each battalion, a sergeant to 
the regimental commander ; each regiment when in 
brigade, an officer to the brigade commander. The 
agent from the highest artillery command, whether 
this be a battery or a brigade, reports to the com- 
manding officer of the whole force. 

An agent is distinguished by a red band on the 
left arm. His general duties are to transmit orders 
and information from the higher commander to his 
unit ; his most important special duty, to mark the 
route of the officer to whom he reports, when he 
goes forward on reconnaissance. 

This latter duty is of the highest consequence. 
When a force of artillery is to come into action, its 
commander generally precedes it, sometimes by a 
long distance, to reconnoiter the position. It is nec- 
essary, in order to avoid delays, that the batteries 
follow at once; but the commander can not, in gen- 
eral, give definite instructions as to the route to be 
followed. Hence he posts men at points where doubt 
might arise, to give directions as to which way to 

Agents are used, if available, for this purpose. 
If they are not present in sufficient number, scouts, 
or other available mounted men, are used. In the case 
of a battery acting alone, the battery commander 
may have to attend himself to posting the men; for- 


tunately, in that case, the route is usually not long. 
In higher commands, it is the duty of the adjutant, 
or, in his absence, of the sergeant major, to relieve 
his chief of this care. 

A man so posted, after performing the duty as- 
signed him, rejoins the commander by whom he was 
posted as rapidly as possible. 

Besides the permanently detailed agents, special 
details are often necessary. For instance, when ar- 
tillery is subdivided for action, it is the business of 
the reserve and train to keep in touch with the com- 
mander of their unit. This they do by means of 
agents, detailed for the purpose from their own 

As scouts, two men are detailed from each battery, 
— either two privates, or a corporal and a private. 
They are instructed by the battalion adjutant, and 
generally act under his direction ; but when a battery 
is detached its scouts accompany it, and when several 
battalions are serving together the artillery com- 
mander employs such of the scouts as he may require 
under his own direction. 

Their duty, like that of any other scouts, is to se- 
cure information ; but the information that they are 
trained to collect is such as has peculiar value to their 
own arm. Reconnoitering parties sent out by the 
commander of a mixed force will bring him the 
information that he himself requires ; but in general, 
when he has formed his plan and assigned the differ- 
ent troops their parts in the execution of it, each unit 
will find that it needs special information, which it 
must get for itself. Artillery is even more dependent 
upon such special reconnaissance than the other arms; 
from tactical considerations, in that it acts at great 


distances and against partially or wholly concealed 
objectives; from technical considerations, since it 
requires some information of peculiar kinds, which 
would not be collected or even sought by a general 

Artillery scouts generally work in pairs; sometimes 
singly, and sometimes, on important missions at a 
distance, in parties under a reconnaissance officer. 

Often they accompany the leading elements of the 
advance guard, or the advance cavalry ; at other 
times they work independently. They are sent out 
to find and report on roads and artillery positions ; to 
locate targets upon which" the artillery is to fire, and 
report dispositions in the vicinity of the target, either 
of friendly or hostile troops ; or to observe the effect 
of fire, when that can not be done by the commander 
himself. They are posted to give warning of the 
approach of hostile parties; in exceptional cases, 
when artillery is in an exposed position, with little 
or no protection from other arms, it may have to rely 
entirely upon them for such warning. 

From the above outline of the service of informa- 
tion and communication, it will be seen that this ser- 
vice is receiving a great deal of attention, more than 
ever before. The difficulties to be overcome in hand- 
ling guns constantly increase, with the extension of 
the battlefield and with the increase in the power 
and range of the guns themselves;, but by proper 
organization of this service the artillery hopes to be 
able to respond promptly and efficiently to demands 
upon it. -and to avoid, ordinarily, calling upon other 
troops for anything more than the protection of their 




The preceding chapters have been devoted chiefly 
to technical matters; but the whole object of the 
technical discussion has been to lead up to the sub- 
ject of tactics. This subject is so broad that only a 
few hints can be given here. 

There is sometimes an impression that artillery is 
a purely technical arm, and has little use for tactics in 
the broader sense. It seems at first sight that it has 
only to move forward in some sort of decent order, 
which is a matter merely of drill regulations, and 
then take up a suitable position and open fire, both 
of which duties require a knowledge more technical 
than tactical. 

It is true that the movements required of artillery 
on the battlefield are simple, and that the guns are 
worse than useless if there be a lack of the technical 
knowledge necessary to establish them in position 
and range them properly; but tactical knowledge in 
the broader sense is required to control all these 
operations. Not only must all be skillfully com- 
bined to accomplish the given tactical purpose, but 
the manner of combination must be coordinated with 
the corresponding operations of other troops; for 
artillery is an auxiliary arm, and its business is to 
assist and support its infantry. 


Thus there arises a complete system of artillery 
tactics, or, more properly, a system for the tactical 
handling of artillery, consisting of the principles by 
which a commander should be guided in making 
these combinations of technical operations. 

The guns themselves must indeed be moved and 
fought; this is the technical fotlndation, and this 
duty falls in the main upon the battery commander. 
But as General Langlois says, a tool is valuable only 
when skillfully used, and tactics must always stand 
above mere technique. As we follow up the chain 
of command, to the chief of artillery and the com- 
mander of an army, the technical duties become of 
less and the tactical duties of greater consequence. 

Naturally enough, such a tactical system is deeply 
affected by changes in technical methods, and these 
methods must always adapt themselves to the ma- 
teriel with which they have to deal. Now artillery 
materiel has been greatly changed in the last few 
years, and the methods of working it have changed 
with it. The question naturally arises whether the 
whole system of artillery tactics has not thereby been 
overturned, necessitating the development of an 
entirely new one ; and many students of the subject 
have been inclined to answer in the affirmative. 

But this view seems a trifle one sided. It takes 
account only of the improved tool, not of the un- 
changed purpose, which is to help the infantry to 
win battles. 

The artillery gives this help always by fire action. 
The methods of generating the fire are now widely 
different from those of a few years ago, and its power 
is much increased ; but the nature of the fire itself is 
the same. Prima facie, then, ought we not to expect 


to find the old system of tactics modified, rather 
than revolutionized? 

A great deal of study is naturally being given the 
question now, when the rearmament with rapid fire 
guns is approaching completion throughout the 
world; and as usual there are extremists on both 
sides — ultra-conservatives and ultra-radicals. But it 
is believed that in the final solution of the problem 
the old broad principles will be found to remain, 
the details being modified to conform to the altered 
conditions. Study of the Japanese regulations, under 
which such excellent work has been done in the late 
war, supports this belief. 

Since artillery always fights in line, and at a halt, 
the choice of position becomes of paramount impor- 
tance. The convenience with which indirect fire may 
now be employed makes it much easier to put up 
with a poor position than formerly, and renders it 
possible to use guns with some effect from almost 
anywhere within range of the target ; but most of 
the old rules for choice of a position still hold good, 
and the best position will be the one which most 
nearly satisfies the requirements of those rules. The 
following are the principal things to be sought: 

1. Good cover; a ridge behind which guns may 
be placed out of sight, is usually sought; but trees, 
bushes or high standing grain, completely concealing 
the battery, are also good. 

2. Clear, open ground to the front and flanks, 
giving the greatest possible range and the broadest 
possible field of fire. 

3. Good stations for the observation of fire. 

4. Good aiming points, in case of indirect laying. 


5- A front generally perpendicular to the line of 

6. Sufficient space to allow the deployment of all 
the batteries that it is desired to use. 

7. Firm soil, to resist the wear and tear of the 

8. Easy access from the rear, convenience of 
moving to the front, and good lateral communication 
— all under cover. 

The relative importance of these desiderata de- 
pends upon circumstances — upon the purpose in 
view, the nature and extent of the target, and the 
dispositions of friendly troops. 

The most careful reconnaissance possible should 
be made before deciding upon a position. Dis- 
mounted as well as mounted examination ot the 
ground should be made; and observation from the 
direction of the enemy is very desirable. 

Such reconnaissance is easily made in the case of 
deliberate occupation of a defensive position. But 
on the march the matter is not so simple, for such 
work takes time. If the advance guard meets with 
serious opposition, and it is necessary to bring up 
artillery to its assistance, the artillery commander 
will not be able to do very much before his guns are 
ready to come into action. 

In order to facilitate this reconnaissance, as well 
as to assist in locating positions of the enemy, it is 
advisable to have an artillery officer, under the im- 
mediate orders of the artillery commander, march 
with the leading elements of the advance guard. 
His special duty is to look for places favorable to the 
action of artillery. 

On reaching such a position the officer halts and 


makes a careful study of the ground. He notes its 
advantages and disadvantages ; estimates the number 
of batteries which could be used with convenience ; 
notes desirable locations for observation stations; 
selects, and determines distances to, convenient aim- 
ing points ; locates any important features shown on 
the map ; picks out the places where an enemy might 
probably appear ; and in fact, conducts as complete a 
reconnaissance as time will permit at each position as 
he reaches it. 

Several good men should accompany him as scouts 
and orderlies ; by means of these men he keeps in 
communication with the artillery commander, sending 
back such memoranda as seem of special importance. 

Thus, when the batteries do have to come into 
action, the commander will find his reconnaissance 
well under way, and the officer will be prepared to 
help him complete it in the shortest possible time. 

Given a position, it may be occupied in various 
ways. The guns may be unconcealed ; they may be 
placed with sight defilade — that is, in such a way that 
the gunners can just see the target through the 
sights ; or they may be completely masked, even to 
such an extent that the flashes are concealed. 

The permissible distance from the covering mass 
depends upon circumstances, and is generally not 
very great. If, for instance, the covering mass is a 
hill, and there is a possibility that the guns may have 
to sweep its forward slope, they must be near enough 
to the crest to permit them to be run up promptly. 
Again, if the distance is great, it is often impossible 
to find a suitable observation station near the guns ; 
this is a serious objection to a battery commander 
acting alone, but less so in the case of a larger body, 


since the higher commanders have less need to be 
close to their guns. 

If there is no reason why it should not be used, 
a position far behind the mask has the advantage of 
being very difficult for the enemy to find. Even if 
he determines the direction, and ranges on the cover- 
ing mass, he may fail to sweep far enough behind it. 
Major Reichmann, in his report of observations in 
Manchuria, gives the following example of a position 
of this type : 

'* At Liaoyang two batteries of the First Siberian 
Corps stood on perfectly open ground in front of 
Shushan Hill, and small shelters had been dug for 
the men ; 700 yards in front was a low round hill en- 
trenched for infantry, which hid the batteries from 
view. Immediately in rear of the batteries rose Shu- 
shan Hill, and some distance up the slope was a Rus- 
sian artillery colonel with an observing party, who 
regulated the fire of the batteries below by means of 
a megaphone. Though standing perfectly in the 
open, these two batteries did not suffer much, simply 
because the enemy's guns did not find them, in spite 
of a furious bombardment." 

Positions may be further classified according to 
the purpose for which they are occupied. If the sit- 
uation is clear, batteries may be placed in position 
for the purpose of opening fire at once. If the time 
for opening fire has not yet arrived, but is thought 
to be near at hand, and the approximate direction of 
the target can be foreseen, the batteries may be 
placed in observation ; that is, they may be unlimbered 
and prepared for action, and firing data determined 
for prominent points in the field of fire. Trial shots 


may be fired for partial verification of the data. This 
process of preparation is called registration of fire. 

If the direction of fire cannot be foreseen, posi- 
tions may not be occupied, but merely selected. 
Preparations are then made to fire from any one of 
several positions, but the guns held limbered at some 
convenient place until further developments. They 
are then said to be in waiting. 

If possible, positions should be occupied unseen 
by the enemy. Battles nowadays are likely to last 
several days, and take on something the character of 
siege operations ; so that positions may often be oc- 
cupied under cover of darkness. The guns may 
then remain silent and concealed until the time 
comes for their use, when they may enjoy the ad- 
vantage of acting by surprise. 

Changes of position are undesirable ; the guns are 
useless and vulnerable while in motion, and time is 
lost in ranging at each new position. Hence changes 
should not be made when it can be avoided ; as will 
be seen later, however, some few changes during the 
course of the action will ordinarily be necessary. 
Even changes of target * are to be avoided when 
practicable ; a battery cannot shift its fire instantly, 
and unless the fire has been registered beforehand it 
will be necessary to range again. 

The fire of all the guns is under the general su- 
pervision of the artillery commander; but the methods 
of carrying out his orders are left to the subordinate 
commanders. Fire should not be opened without 
his order ; and generally no subordinate should fire 
at a target other than that designated by him, al- 
though of course the subordinates may use their dis- 
cretion as to the target in case of emergency. 


As to the objective of the fire, the rule of our old 
Drill Regulations holds good: **As a general rule, 
the fire of artillery is directed against that arm of the 
enemy which at the time is predominant, or which is 
capable of .inflicting the greatest loss on the infantry 
or cavalry which the artillery is supporting/' 

Ordinarily no special escort is assigned to artillery. 
It is the duty of all troops near it to provide for its 

In treating tactical subjects it is customary to con- 
sider offensive and defensive action separately. The 
line thus drawn is to some extent an arbitrary one, 
for offense and defense shade into each other almost 
imperceptibly. But the form of battle assumed as 
typical — that in which one army occupies a purely de- 
fensive position and the other attacks it — does furnish 
an opportunity to discuss methods, which may after- 
ward be modified and applied to conditions as found. 

Following this custom, one may trace the probable 
course of the artillery in such a battle, first from the 
standpoint of the attack, then from that of the de- 

A determined attack lipon a prepared position 
must be preceded by a long period of reconnaissance, 
the attacking force gradually feeling out the position 
and locating the weak points. 

This is a more difficult matter now than ever 
before, since it must be managed from a greater dis- 
tance. The defense will undoubtedly have numerous 
small detachments in front of its main position, some 
of them provided with artillery, to delay and possibly 
mislead the attack. Each detachment will have to 
be looked after separately, and the result will be a 
series of minor actions, largely fought by the artillery 


— for the detachments will not wait for their opponents 
to come to close quarters. The issue of each such 
small attack will not be doubtful; but each one must 
be begjun with much the same caution as a general 
engagement, for it will never be certain beforehand 
just when and where the main position will be 

For this reason, most of these preliminary at- 
tacks will have to be preceded by the assembling 
of a formidable number of guns, all of which will 
be prepared to come into action at once upon the 
hostile batteries as soon as located. Care must 
be taken not to bring them under a decisive fire, 
either artillery or infantry, or they will suffer a loss 
totally out of proportion to the results to be obtained. 
Opportunities for enfilade fire will be frequent in 
this kind of work, and must not be wasted. 

The guns may also, in* this stage, have occasion 
to fire upon the enemy's infantry. The attacking 
infantry will be constantly working forward and 
occupying successive positions, which can, if neces- 
sary, be defended against counter attacks. If these 
positions be occupied or commanded by the enemy, 
the artillery must aid the infantry to get possession 
of them. 

Finally, perhaps after days of skirmishing, the 
reconnaissance period will approach an end. The 
enemy's heavy guns will begin to be felt, and the 
attacker's corresponding arm will seek positions from 
which to reply. The fire of the opposing field guns 
will grow stronger, and the front covered by them 
broader. It will be found no longer possible to con- 
tinue the tactics of flanking out or driving in separate 
detachments, and gradually the main defensive posi- 


tion will outline itself, and the weak points become 

It is to be supposed that the attacker is the 
stronger in artillery ; this is indicated in the assump- 
tion of the oflFensive. Throughout the combat it is 
for him to utilize this superiority by always having 
the preponderance at each point of contact. 

So now, as in the reconnaissance period, he con- 
centrates his guns. This does not mean that every- 
thing he has must be drawn up in one grand line, 
but simply that the diflFerent units are so placed that 
each one can bring its fire effectively upon the desig- 
nated target. The units themselves may be widely 
separated ; but they are all held in the hand of the 
commander, more firmly than ever before, by means 
of the field telephone. 

How far the physical separation of the units may 
go without impairing their tactical concentration, de- 
pends on the terrain and on the circumstances of 
each particular case. In a small force, batteries may 
have to stand alone ; but they should never be divided, 
and if it is at all possible battalions should be kept 
well together. 

The battery commander will usually have his 
hands full with the technical conduct of the fire of ' 
his battery. . The tactical application of it belongs 
to the higher commanders. If, then, the battery be 
isolated, a double duty will fall upon the captain, and 
in proportion as he devotes his attention to one he 
must neglect the other. 

Nevertheless it is true, as just remarked, that con- 
centration of guns does not mean the formation of a 
continuous line ; it means the control by one com- 
mander over many units, and the careful distribu- 


tion by that commander, to the units, of particular 
targets or fields of fire ; it means unity of action. 

The phase of the combat now opening is the 
artillery duel. It is important for the attacker to 
cripple the enemy's artillery, his long range arm, as 
much as possible before it can injure his infantry 
seriously. Referring to the general rule already 
given for the objective of artillery fire, we find these 
conditions: — it is necessary for the infantry to ad- 
vance ; at the outset, it is the artillery of the enemy 
that is most dangerous to it ; therefore, that artillery 
becomes the target for the attacking guns. 

It is thus desirable for the attacker to seek a gen- 
eral artillery engagement. For this purpose, he 
should deploy as many guns as can be used, at the 
outset, so as to avoid any risk of letting the defender 
enjoy even a temporary superiority. Enough bat- 
teries to cover the enemy's whole line with an effec- 
tive fire should be placed in position, ready for in- 
stant use. Each unit in this mass should have its 
own field of fire allotted to it, and have orders to 
reply to any battery which may be discovered within 
that field. All being ready, fire is opened upon such 
batteries as have been located, and an attempt made 
to force the defender to disclose his whole artillery 
position. If he be slow to do this, deliberate ex- 
posure of a battery here and there may be of use, for 
*' visibility draws fire." 

To get decisive results a concentration of fire is 
necessary, and this concentration the attacker should 
usually be able to make. Keeping the enemy actively 
engaged, as just indicated, he may concentrate all 
his available remaining guns upon a single hostile 
unit, and silence it. The concentration will then be 


made upon another unit, that already silenced being 
left to the batteries assigned to observe that particu- 
lar part of the field. 

It is a difficult thing to secure the necessary unity 
of action, but when it is not secured the artillery 
generally fails to accomplish its task. Thus at Mal- 
vern Hill the Confederate artillery came into action 
a battery or two at a time, and a large part of it never 
got into action at all. This was partly due to the 
difficulty of finding and reaching positions, and 
partly to defective organization, which interfered 
with proper control; but the result was that the 
compact masses of Federal artillery had no difficulty 
in dealing separately with the small forces succes- 
sively sent against it. 

The Prussians found the same difficulty in 1866. 
Their batteries were generally too far to the rear, so 
that they came upon the field late and in small groups. 

Formerly, the artillery duel .was a very distinct 
phase of the battle, and no infantry ventured within 
range of the enemy's guns until a decided superiority 
was established over them. But now artillery range 
is so long that infantry must come within it. even 
while the duel is at its height, if it is to reap any ad- 
vantage from the cannonade during its advance. 

The duel, then, shades gradually into the next 
phase, which is the preparation of the infantry attack. 

It may, in fact, prove impossible to draw the de- 
fender into an artillery duel. If he chooses to keep 
his guns silent and concealed, the attacker has no 
choice but to send his infantry forward regardless of 
them. While this arm is seeking to gain a lodgment 
within striking distance of the position, the de- 
fender's artillery will be forced to open fire upon it ; 


his position being thus disclosed, his fire may be 
answered in kind. 

But, however this may be, when the infantry ad- 
vances to the attack a new duty imposes itself upon 
the artillery. It has now to prepare the approach to 
the particular point selected for attack. 

It must direct as severe a fire as possible upon 
that point, -to keep down infantry fire. But at the 
same time it can not neglect the hostile guns, or the 
advantage gained by its previous work will be lost. 
The duel^will have been fought at long ranges — prob- 
ably at least 3,000 yards, perhaps much more. If prac- 
ticable, the attack will come in to somewhere near 
this range, for the efficiency of shrapnel fire falls oflF 
rapidly beyond it ; but the war in Manchuria furnishes 
instances of artillery fighting, and eflFective fighting, 
too, at 7,000 yards. At such ranges the possibility 
of putting permanently out of action the opposing bat- 
teries, concealed from view and having their personnel 
protected by shields, will be remote. They may be 
silenced or forced to slacken their fire, but if left to 
themselves they would soon be able to resume it. 

A division of the artillery force thus becomes 
necessary. Certain batteries, including usually the 
heavy guns, are assigned to keep down the enemy's 
artillery fire, while the remainder devote themselves 
to preparing the infantry attack. 

Those told off to the former duty will continue 
to act very much as in the duel period, except that, 
the opposing fire having slackened, each battery can 
take care of a larger sector. When the enemy per- 
ceives what is being done, he will probably intensify 
his fire again as much as possible, and a second con- 
test similar to the duel will take place. For this 


reason, care must be taken not to draw oflF too many 
batteries, and those that remain will have to exert 
themselves to the utmost. Rapid volley fire will be 
opened instantly upon any hostile battery that re- 
news its fire. 

The positions of the batteries constituting the 
target will by this time be well known, and such fire 
can be made eflFective immediately. If those bat- 
teries change position, their fire, when reopened, will 
not be dangerous at first, so time will be available for 
ranging on them. It will be difficult for them to act 
by surprise in their new positions, for each part of 
the defender s line will be under close observation by 
some battery told off for that particular purpose, and 
they will be very quickly detected. 

The batteries intended to prepare the infantry as- 
sault gradually withdraw from the duel, as they can 
be spared, and prepare to concentrate their fire upon 
the point selected. All possible preparations are 
made for opening fire, and ranges determined as ac- 
curately as possible, so that the fire, when opened, 
may be effective from the first. 

All then open simultaneously, and keep down 
the defender's fire over the whole front of the attack. 

It has just been said that the heavy guns will 
naturally be found among the batteries observing the 
enemy's artillery positions. But use for them may 
be found at times among the preparation batteries. 
It may become necessary or desirable to destroy ma- 
terial obstacles in the way of the attacking infantry, 
and if these are serious the greater shell power of the 
heavy guns will be pressed into service. 

While all this is going on, the infantry is pushing 
in and making its final dispositions for the decisive 


attack ; and when the preparations are completed the 
assault is launched. The duty of the artillery now 
changes from preparation to support. 

The support of the attack consists of two things. 
The first is, keeping down the fire, both artillery and 
infantry, from that part of the line against which the 
assault is directed ; the second, guarding the flanks 
of the attacking force. 

For the second purpose, certain batteries are 
designated, either from those that have been assist- 
ing in the preparation, or from those that have been 
taking care of the enemy's artillery. The flanks of 
an attacking force are very vulnerable, and the enemy 
will undoubtedly try to take advantage of this, either 
by counter attacks directed against them, or by fire 
action from favorable points outside of the threatened 

In order to give the necessary protection, the bat- 
teries assigned to this duty act much in the manner 
of those which maintained the artillery duel after the 
preparation of the attack had begun ; that is, each 
battery is assigned its field of fire, and makes its 
preparations to act instantly and vigorously against 
any part of it, noting ranges to prominent places, se- 
lecting its aiming points, and keeping a vigilant 
watch of everything within its sector. 

The guns which are told off to keep down the fire 
in front maintain a vigorous fire over the heads of the 
advancing infantry until the latest possible moment 
before contact ; they then slightly increase their ele- 
vation and lengthen their fuzes, and sweep the 
ground just in rear of the enemy's firing line, pre- 
venting reinforcement or withdrawal of it. 

Just when the fire should be thus diverted from 


the firing line is a delicate question. As fuzes, lay- 
ing apparatus and observing instruments are im- 
proved, this moment may be postponed ; but even so, 
the answer is no mere matter of calculating the danger 
space and ceasing the fire when the troops reach the 
near edge of it. The moral effect upon the infantry 
has to be considered ; troops can not be expected to 
advance with confidence very close to the real danger 
line. On the other hand, if the fire ceases too soon, 
the defenders will be able to redouble the intensity 
of their fire. Many infantry officers say that they 
prefer to take some chances of getting a few shells 
among them from the rear, rather than dispense 
prematurely with the support of the artillery. 

The following computations will give an idea of 
the technical side of the question. 

Take, as a typical case, accurately adjusted shrap- 
nel fire over level ground at a single line of targets, 
with the 3-inch field gun and service ammunition. 
Calculating from range table velocities and angles of 
fall, from an average spread of the shrapnel bullets, 
and from mean errors of the fuze as determined by 
experimental firing in 1906, we find the probabilities 
for a 3,000 yard range to be as follows : 

Nineteen per cent, of the shrapnel will burst on 

Twenty-five per cent, will burst less than 9 yards in 
front of the target, all of which distance is danger 
space for men standing. 

Fifty per cent, will burst less than 66 yards from 
the target; danger space, 45 yards. 

Seventy- five per cent, will burst less than 1 1 1 yards 
from the target ; danger space, 84 yards. 


Ninety per cent, will burst less than 163 yards from 
the target; danger space, 103 yards. 

Ninety five per cent, will burst less than 190 yards 
from the target; danger space, 118 yards. 

Ninety-nine per cent, will burst less than 242 yards 
from the target; danger space, 149 yards. 

It has been laid down as a general rule that the 
fire must cease when the infantry comes within 500 
yards of the target. But if this rule be followed, the 
artillery might almost as well not support the attack 
at all. The German drill regulations reduce this 
distance to 300 meters ; and some observers of the war 
in South Africa have insisted that it must be reduced 
to 100 yards: 

If, as is probable, the approach to the position is 
up a slope, or if the guns themselves occupy an 
elevated position, the fire may safely be continued 
longer than on level ground. And even when the 
guns have to increase their elevation, the howitzers, 
owing to the steep angle of fall of their trajectory, 
may continue to fire almost up to the moment of the 
last rush. This, it will be noted, is one of the most 
valuable uses of howitzers, and they should always 
be represented among the batteries assigned to this 

As a guide to the artillery in this difficult matter, 
there must be some means of communication with 
the assaulting infantry. When artillery officers are 
available for the purpose, they may be sent out to 
keep their immediate commanders informed, follow- 
ing the infantry line, selecting successive stations 
from which they may observe its progress, and re- 
porting by telephone or other signal system. The 
Japanese custom of carrying flags with the attacking 


lines gave their artillery excellent information as to 
the position of the infantry, which was almost indis- 
tinguishable otherwise. If satisfactory means of 
communication can be devised, it would seem that 
the immediate commander of the attacking infantry 
should be the man to select the moment for divert- 
ing the artillery fire. 

The essential thing, however, here as throughout 
the action, is close cooperation between the artillery 
and the infantry. If the two arms do not act together 
the defender can take cover, wait until the artillery 
fire ceases, and then man his works to meet the in- 
fantry assault. This is exactly what happened at 
Liaoyang. where the Japanese bombarded the Shu- 
shanpu position with rapid fire from over 200 guns 
for an hour ; but the infantry assault, made after this, 
fire ceased, was repulsed. 

Some of the supporting batteries will go in with 
the infantry to close range, perhaps 1,000 yards or 
less. Several reasons will compel this. For one 
thing, the proper protection of the flanks may very 
likely prove impossible except from close range ; if, 
for example, the enemy should be able to place a 
few flanking guns behind some obstacle, in such a 
manner that they could not be reached by frontal 
fire, they could cause great loss and confusion in the 
attacking force if no artillery were present to reply 
to them. 

Another reason is the desirability of affording 
moral support to the infantry during the advance, 
through the presence of its ** indispensable com pan-, 
ion." The French especially attach great impor- 
tance to this feature, and regard it as essential 
**that the infantry should feel the constant and im- 


mediate support of the accompanying batteries, and 
that these should reach the conquered position at the 
same time as the infantry.'* 

It is said that the shields now attached to the 
guns render it possible to serve them under fire from 
closer ranges than formerly, in spite of the increased 
power of that fire ; and that consequently the bat- 
teries should not hesitate to go in, more particularly 
as they, together with the infantry, will be under the 
powerful protection of the guns which remain behind, 
firing over their heads. 

All this is quite true, as far as it goes, but it does 
not touch the real objection to this procedure of send- 
ing in the guns. The professed object is moral sup- 
port ; but if the guns make long stops to fire, and in 
so doing utilize the protection of their shields, they 
will soon lose touch with the infantry. If, on the 
other hand, they make several changes of position, 
advancing step by step with the infantry, they will, 
at each halt, waste at least a short time in ranging ; 
moreover, during these movements, they will lose so 
many horses that they will soon be permanently 
stopped. In either case the moral support vanishes. 

There is something in the idea of moral support, 
but it ought not to be emphasized too much. Bat- 
teries must be sent in to close range, for this and 
other reasons, but it should be done with judgment, 
and after due consideration whether the conditions 
require it — not as a matter of course. The guns can 
not remain immediately with the infantry in any 
case, if they are to do any firing ; and it would seem 
that their fire ought to have much the same moral 
effect upon their own infantry, whether delivered 
from a position 500 or 2,000 yards in rear of it. And 


if it is a mere question of fire effect upon troops in 
position, a range of 3,000 yards is as good as 1,000, 
provided the observation of fire is satisfactory ; some- 
times better, in fact, for the greater angle of fall of 
the projectiles enables them to search cover better. 

Such an advance at this stage can not be made 
off-hand. It having been decided that it is to be 
made, the ground over which it is to pa^ss will have 
to be thoroughly, although rapidly, studied, positions 
and the routes to them selected, and every possible 
means taken for security. The number of batteries 
to be sent should also be considered, in view of the 
terrain and the object of the movement. 

In executing the advance, batteries should move 
successively, so as not to cause a complete cessation 
of fire at any time. Each part of the force should 
advance under the protection of the fire of some 
other part. 

A most striking warning against a faulty execu- 
tion of this advance is found in the battle of Colenso. 
General Hildyard's brigade, which advanced directly 
upon the town, was supported by two field batteries 
and six naval guns. As the infantry advanced, 
Colonel Long, commanding the artillery, ordered his 
whole force forward. The field batteries, more 
mobile than the naval guns, got far ahead of their 
own infantry, came into action within 800 yards of 
the Tugela River, and found themselves under a 
terrible fire, not only from infantry and artillery on 
the hills beyond the river, but also from infantry on 
the hither bank. Nearly all the horses were killed ; 
the guns were fought in splendid style until most of 
the men were gone, when they were abandoned, and 
the remaining men sought shelter in a small ravine 


150 yards to the rear. An attempt by the infantry 
to save the guns failed, and all but two were left be- 
hind when the British withdrew. These two were 
saved only by the most extraordinary exertions and 
at enormous cost. 

This incident has been dwelt upon at some length 
on account of the many lessons it teaches. First, the 
artillery preparation was insufficient, the guns mov- 
ing up before the infantry was within striking distance. 
Next, the naval guns did not cover the advance of 
the field batteries, but all were in motion at the same 
time. Finally, the reconnaissance had not been 
thorough, and when the batteries approached the 
river they were surprised by fire in their front and 
right flank, from riflemen whose presence on the 
hither side of the river was not known. **It was 
magnificent, but it was not war." 

If the attack succeeds, and the enemy is driven 
from his position, the victor has first to occupy and 
hold. the captured ground, and then to make the most 
of his advantage by a vigorous pursuit. The first 
thing to be done is to complete the enemy's rout 
— prevent a counter attack,'and make as difficult as 
possible the formation of a rear guard. 

Artillery will be pushed into the position as 
swiftly as possible, to support the infantry now in 
the act of occupying it. This is an instance where 
subordinate artillery commanders, occupying ad- 
vanced positions, should move up at once without 
waiting for orders. 

The batteries farther to the rear come up more 
deliberately, first seeing that the ones ahead have 
made good their foothold in the captured position, 
and supporting them in the event of a counter 


attack. Meanwhile the cavalry and horse artillery 
are working around the flanks, and preparing to begin 
the pursuit. 

These arms naturally take the largest share of 
the work of pursuit. The field batteries assist in 
so far as they are able, firing upon any bodies of the 
enemy that seem inclined to make a stand ; but with- 
out express orders they should not go far beyond 
the captured position ; they should rather remain 
there until the successful infantry has recovered from 
the disorder brought about by its own victory. The 
assistance of the guns may be needed during that 

In the pursuit, artillery should not waste time on 
small or broken bodies, but should devote its atten- 
tion to the main force. It should leave the capture 
of prisoners to other troops ; it has no men to send 
back with them, if taken. 

If the attack is repulsed, the responsibility for 
covering the withdrawal and checking pursuit rests 
on the artillery, and primarily on the batteries which 
are most advanced. 

From the above description it will be seen that 
several changes of position generally have to be 
made in the course of the action. These positions 
used always to be classified as, ( i ) the reconnoiter- 
ing position, (2) the duel position, (3) the supporting 

This classification of positions must not, however, 
be taken too literally, as a '* sealed pattern" order of 
attack. Under some of these heads several changes 
of position in one action may be included ; some of 
them may be omitted entirely, or rather one position 
may be made to serve for several purposes; some 


batteries may have occasion to occupy all these posi- 
tions in succession, others will make fewer changes, 
or none at all. 

It has been remarked above that changes of po- 
sition are always undesirable ; and this is especially 
true in the attack, since changes cannot be so readily 
made under cover as in the defense. The diflBculty 
increases as the range shortens, and in the later 
changes little or no protection can be found. 

Changes should be made by echelon, part of the 
batteries moving under cover of the fire of the rest. 
If, as is usual, the old position is on the reverse 
slope of a hill, the best plan is to limber to the rear, 
first running the guns back by hand if direct fire is 
being used ; a more or less covered line of advance 
to the new position may then be found, and tTie ne- 
cessity of crossing the crest of the hill, on the sky- 
line, avoided. 

The suggestion is not uncommon, that the tactical 
defensive has been the gainer by modern improve- 
ments in weapons. This may be so to some extent, 
but too much reliance should not be placed upon 
suqh a theory. Meckel says : 

** During a long period of peace there is generally 
a tendency to forget the lessons of war ; to exagger- 
ate the results of improvements in firearms and the 
importance of formations ; and to attribute a certain 
superiority to the defensive. In reality, no one form 
of battle is superior to another. Their relative values 
depend entirely upon the terrain and upon circum- 

The battles in Manchuria would appear to support 
Meckel's idea. The defense has indeed grown 


stronger in the earlier stages of the battle, but when 
it comes to the decisive point, improved weapons 
really prove of greater value to the attacker. 

The first step in battle is the establishment of 
contact. Each party seeks to gain information as to 
the force and dispositions of the other ; but obviously 
the assailant is the more urgently in need of infor- 
mation. Contact can be gained only by fighting, and 
the defense here enjoys the advantage of seeing 
without being seen, and of having a position care- 
fully prepared beforehand. Later in the fight, these 
advantages gradually diminish. 

The one advantage that, in the nature of things, 
always belongs to the defender is, that he can, in 
the form of battle selected as typical, reconnoiter, 
choose, prepare and occupy his position at leisure. 

The general characteristics desirable in an artil- 
lery position have already been noted. In defense, 
places must be found from which the guns, without 
in any degree impeding the infantry, may command 
all available positions and cover in front, both to pro- 
tect advanced positions held by friends, and to prevent 
strong points being seized by the enemy. Provision 
must also be made for flanking fire, which may be- 
come highly important in the later stages of the in- 
fantry attack ; here care is necessary, lest the flanking 
positions be themselves flanked. 

Every artillery commander, of whatever grade, 
should carefully reconnoiter the ground assigned him. 
Not only the position to be immediately occupied 
must be examined, but several positions, having re- 
gard to the probable necessity of changing position 
during the engagement — for even in defense the ar- 
tillery must make some changes, although better off 


than the attack. When the infantry assault begins, 
a new position will probably have to be taken up to 
meet it ; and circumstances may compel other altera- 
tions in dispositions. 

Little entrenching is required by guns provided 
with shields. If a position is to be occupied for some 
time, however, some little artificial strengthening 
may be done. Sandbags may be placed on the 
ground, in the space under the shields, or piled up in 
the gaps between guns and caissons. Epaulments 
may be useful to protect from flank fire ; for the 
shields give little protection against fire which comes 
at an angle of more than thirty degrees from the 
normal to the front. 

It would seem superfluous to say that artillery 
will often have to provide for its own security, by 
sending scouts to reconnoiter the ground beyond its 
immediate position ; but there is no lack of instances 
where this precaution has been neglected, and bat- 
teries surprised by other ifroops that have worked up, 
concealed by some apparently insignificant fold of 
the ground. But barring such surprise, artillery 
need not fear any frontal attack. It is vulnerable in 
the flanks only. 

Malvern Hill may serve to illustrate this. The 
Confederates could not reach the Federal guns. Ma- 
gruder's division made three desperate attempts, but 
failed. General D. H. Hill says that half the Con- 
federate casualties were from artillery fire. 

The flank of a line of guns is of course weak ; but 
even here, if the force is small and the artillery has 
a little warning, the attack may be beaten off. Thus 
at Bull Run, General Hunt, then a captain, was in 
command of his own battery, **M," Second Artillery, 


and of Battery **G/' Third Artillery, six guns in all. 
A force of Confederates appeared on his left, his bat- 
teries being at the moment not engaged in front. 
He, and the infantry near him, changed front to 
meet the attack; after fifteen minutes of rapid 
canister fire from the batteries, the enemy broke, 
the Federal infantry not having had to fire a shot. 
Hunt says in his report that he directed the men to 
omit sponging the guns (all muzzle-loaders, of 
course), and take the chance of premature discharge, 
"for minutes were now of more value than arms.** 
Fortunately, he was able to add that no accidents oc- 
curred from this cause. 

Corresponding to the advantage which the defense 
possesses, in taking position at leisure, is the disad- 
vantage that he must be prepared to meet all possible 
attacks of the enemy. This constrains the defending 
artillery to scatter its force more, to cover dangerous 
places in the line. But the whole force must not be 
scattered in this way, or every part of the line will 
be weak. The most important points are occupied, 
and the remainder of the artillery held back until 

Control of fire is simpler in defense than in attack, 
owing to the greater permanence of the positions. 
The field telephone may be used to an even greater 
extent. Regular range finding systems may be es- 
tablished in the more important positions; a meas- 
ured base line angle-measuring instruments at the 
ends, and telephonic communication, are the essen- 
tials of the system. 

As remarked above, the first troops of the defense 
to engage the enemy will probably be small covering 
detachments in front or on the flanks. Advanced 


posts, close to the main line, are not meant, but inde- 
pendent bodies at a considerable distance. Just 
before the battle of the Lisaine, for instance, General 
von Werder had out several such detachments, some 
of them as much as ten or fifteen miles to the west 
and south, covering a front of some thirty miles. 
Their use is two- fold. In the first place, they force 
the enemy to deploy and show his strength, giving 
valuable information to the defender in time for him 
to profit by it. Secondly, they annoy him, causing 
him to make constant, useless and costly attacks, and 
gradually undermining the morale of his troops. 

Such detachments should act in much the same 
manner as a rear guard ; they should make a show of 
resistance, but should not allow themselves to be 
drawn into a serious engagement. This being so, 
they should be strong in artillery, the long range 
arm par excellence, and have only enough of the other 
arms to protect the artillery. 

Horse artillery accompanied by cavalry is emi- 
nently suited for this work, but unless an army were 
exceptionally strong in these arms, field batteries and 
infantry, with only a little cavalry, would probably 
be used in front, leaving the bulk of the more mobile 
forces for the flanks. Here detachments so consti- 
tuted may perform a double service ; they may do 
all that is outlined above, and also attempt to lead 
the enemy in a false direction. This is one of the 
few cases where dividing a battery may be good tac- 
tics. Swift and energetic, rather than powerful, ac- 
tion is required ; sharp attacks from many points, in 
quick succession, may keep the enemy in doubt as to 
the force in his front. 

All advanced parties will of course withdraw 


before any serious attack is developed, but skirmishers 
should be kept a few hundred yards ahead of the 
artillery positions, so that the artillery need not be 
distracted from its proper work to watch for local 
attacks upon its own lines. 

By reason of their long range, heavy guns will be 
able to assist froin their main positions in the later 
stages of the preliminary operations. These are 
usually placed near the flanks, both in order to deal 
with enveloping movements, and to cross their fire 
upon a frontal attack. They should be well dispersed, 
even batteries being sometimes divided. Their posi- 
tions are more permanent than those of any other 
gfuns, and the telephonic communication may be more 
elaborated ; and the high power of the guns permits 
their occasional use with good effect, singly. 

It is not generally advisable to open fire at very 
long range from the field guns in the main position ; 
it is better to keep the enemy in doubt as to the loca- 
tion of the batteries until he has come to fairly close 
quarters. No definite rule can be given as to the 
proper range, in yards, to be used ; but perhaps it 
might be said that fire ought not to be opened, if it 
can well be avoided, at ranges over 3,500 or 4,000 
yards. The temptation is, of course, to fire too soon. 
Even as good an artillery as the Austrians had at 
Koniggratz could not resist it, and fired as soon as 
the heads of the Prussian columns came in sight ; if 
they had waited until larger forces were displayed in 
the open, the effect of their fire would have been 
much greater. 

Each battery should have its own sector of fire 
assigned as soon as the advanced detachments begin 
to find the enemy, and should remain in observation 


of ail targets appearing in it, until some one of them 
come to easy range, or until eflfective fire is opened 
from some battery within the sector. Each should 
also be ready to support, if necessary, the batteries 
on its flanks by turning its fire upon the sectors 
allotted to them. Enough batteries should be in ob- 
servation to cover thoroughly with fire all probable 
lines of advance of the enemy ; not more, as this 
would result only in disclosing more than is neces- 
sary of the position. The remaining guns constitute 
a temporary reserve, to be held limbered, ready for 
use as the enemy's plans become clearer. 

This does not mean that there should be any 
hesitation in bringing batteries into action as soon as 
there is any need for them, whether they be in ob- 
servation or limbered up. All are gradually sent 
itito the firing line ; there is no real reserve, as that 
term is understood in the other arms. 

Usually this process will result in a general en- 
gagement with the attacking guns — the artillery 
duel. In this, the defense, although probably the 
weaker, may have a very good chance of success. 
The method of opening fire gradually and progres- 
sively, from concealed positions, may lead the enemy 
to underrate the force opposed to him, and to send 
his batteries into action before enough have been 
collected. In such a case the defense might enjoy 
temporarily an absolute superiority, and beat the at- 
tacker in detail. In any case, he has the advantage 
of a carefully chosen position, occupied at leisure, 
and should be first in getting the range. If he can 
handle the enemy's artillery severely enough, the 
chances are that no infantry attack will be made. 

It may often be to the defender's advantage, es- 


pecially if he believes himself to be greatly inferior 
in artillery, to decline the duel, and save his strength 
for the infantry attack. With long range guns and 
concealed positions, he may well succeed in holding 
the enemy at arm's length, never letting him get 
enough information about the position for a general 
engagement. The attacker may then , perhaps, conceal 
his own guns and play a waiting game — concentrate 
upon each battery as it is discovered, and finally force 
the defense to open fire all along the line to avoid be- 
ing cut up in detail. 

If this fails^ or if he has not the time for it, he 
will, as has already been seen, have to send in his 
infantry. In the typical case, however, there will be 
an artillery duel in some form or other, and the 
probable result will be that the defense will ulti- 
mately have to slacken or cease its fire. 

The defense sometimes breaks off the duel pre- 
maturely, to induce the enemy to make a premature 
assault. So on the last day of Gettysburg, General 
Hunt found that he was having difl5culty with his 
ammunition supply, and that he was getting no ad- 
vantage over the Confederate artillery, which, from 
its extended position, could get more guns into action 
than he could from his cramped one. He therefore 
ceased firing, withdrew part of his guns, replaced 
crippled batteries by fresh ones which had not hitherto 
been able to find room to come into action, and 
waited. The Confederates, deceived by this, launched 
Pickett's division to the assault. The Federal bat- 
teries at once opened fire with undiminished vigor 
upon his infantry, ignoring the Confederate batteries; 
the latter, meanwhile, had themselves run short of 


ammunition, and were unable to support Pickett 
with their full force. 

Unless something of this kind happens, the in- 
fantry will be. getting under way before the duel ap- 
proaches an end. The defense can not permit hostile 
infantry to maneuver unmolested under his guns, 
and so must assign certain batteries to fire upon it ; 
he will use as few guns as possible for this purpose, 
however, for the enemy's artillery is still the most 
important target. 

If the attack gains the upper hand in the duel, the 
defense must prepare to resist a determined infantry 
assault. It may or may not be necessary to move 
the batteries to avoid further loss in the meantime ; 
but the artillery commanders now employ themselves 
in perfecting their dispositions for the next phase of 
the fight. Batteries are withdrawn from parts of the 
line where they are not likely to be needed, and a 
new mobile reserve formed, to be used as before. 

The artillery has hitherto been the leader in the 
battle. As the attack progresses it begins to come 
into action again, Tiot now as the sole, or even the 
predominant arm, for it has shown itself unable to 
prevent an assault, but to assist the infantry in re- 
pelling that assault. 

This being the task in hand, the advancing infan- 
try will be the principal target ; but it is not yet 
time to leave the hostile artillery entirely out of 
account. This is now turning a greater or less num- 
ber of guns upon the point selected for the attack, 
and the defender should try to determine which are 
the batteries so directing their fire, and use some of 
his own guns against them. 

The guns that have withdrawn from the artillery 


duel ought not to reopen their fire prematurely. 
Their target is to be the advancing infantry, and 
their object is to assist in repulsing its attack. If 
now they open too soon, the hostile artillery, not be- 
ing yet urgently needed to protect its own troops 
from rifle fire, will be able to return with its whole 
power to the guns of the defense, and crush them. 
Both the artillery and infantry of the attack can then 
unite on. the unsupported infantry. There will have 
been two successive efforts at defense, each by only a 
part of the force, and each will have been overcome 

For these reasons the artillery should now hold 
its fire until the attacking troops come to rifle range. 
The guns of the attack will then be forced to divide 
their attention between the infantry and artillery, 
while at the same time the defender's fire is doubled 
in intensity. 

It will be a difficult matter to come into action 
again, and much will depend upon the care which 
has been bestowed upon the preliminary reconnais- 
sance. New positions will have to be used. The old 
covered emplacements will not usually command the 
ground over which the infantry attack is made, and 
the guns will have to move up, using direct fire and 
little or no concealment. Probably by this time the 
old emplacements will have been closely located by 
the enemy, so that the advantage of retaining them 
is minimized. • 

Besides, by coming into action in a new position, 
the element of surprise is introduced. A cannonade 
from an unexpected quarter, especially if a cross fire 
can be brought to bear, should have a stopping power 
entirely disproportionate to its volume. 


As the direction of the attack becomes clearer, 
more and more guns should open, until, by the time 
it has fully developed, all are in action. And, as the 
decisive moment approaches, every gun should fire 
upon the infantry alone, neglecting the hostile guns. 

Each gun is, as the phrase goes, **its own reserve.'* 
That is to say, its maximum rate of fire is seldom 
used, and a battery can at almost any time double its 
rapidity. But at the crisis of the attack this reserve, 
with all others, is thrown in. 

If the attack' is repulsed, the defender will usually 
try to take the offensive in his turn, and the guns 
will act as already indicated for pursuit. 

If the attack is successful, a counter attack will be 
attempted. In this, the artillery has, first, to hold in 
check the hostile batteries and prevent their advanc 
ing to the position ; and, secondly, to turn such guns 
as it may upon the penetrating infantry. The enemy 
will probably press his infantry strongly into the 
breach, and if, at the proper moment, a rapid artillery 
fire at short range be poured into the flank of this 
mass of troops, the effect will be destructive in the 

This is what happened at the end of the second 
battle of Manassas. The right of the Confederate 
line was held by Longstreet, the left by Jackson. 
The Federal attack, made by Porter's corps, was 
directed upon Jackson, who was gradually pushed 
back. Porter's left flank was thus exposed to Long- 
street ; the enfilade fire of twenty guns broke up the 
attack, and enabled the whole Confederate line to 
move forward. 

When the enemy's success bids fair to be more 
than a local one, the commander-in-chief will try to 


withdraw some of his guns in time to establish a 
rallying point in rear. Such as are not ordered back 
cover the withdrawal, and continue to make an un- 
shaken stand. A withdrawal will be a difficult mat- 
ter after the infantry assault is well advanced, and 
can be successfully made only if the ground is favor- 
able. As for the guns that remain behind, it may be 
possible to save them, or a part of them, if a tem- 
porary success can be gained; if they are lost, the 
loss under such circumstances is to the credit of the 
personnel. The old Drill Regulations say, **the loss 
of well served guns in the defense of a position, or 
in close support of the other arms, is honorable.** 

The battle of Koniggratz is a conspicuous example 
of this wise prodigality of artillery. The Austrian 
batteries lost their guns, but saved the army. One 
of the most famous incidents of the battle occurred 
when the Prussian infantry, having occupied Chlum, 
began to advance beyond it. Captain von Groeben 
brought his battery, the Seventh of the Eighth Regi- 
ment, into action within 200 paces of the edge of the 
village, to enable the other troops to draw off. The 
object was accomplished; but the battery lost its cap- 
tain, one lieutenant, fifty-two enlisted men and seven 
out of its eight guns ; the attack upon it came so 
quickly that it succeeded in firing only ten rounds. 

On the second day of the battle of Gettysburg, when 
it was desired to withdraw four Federal batteries 
posted south of the Peach Orchard, one of them. Cap- 
tain Bigelows Ninth Massachusetts, was ordered to 
cover the movement of the others. This it did, firing 
canister until the enemy came literally up to the muz- 
zles of the guns. The battery's loss was three officers. 


twenty-eight men, sixty-five horses and four of its 
six guns. 

Hohenlohe reports a discussion between two 
artillery officers of high rank, as to their experiences 
in war ; one finally said to the other, " I have an ad- 
vantage over you in one point ; I have lost guns and 
you have not." 

In covering a retreat, the duties of artillery are 
obvious. Its most dangerous enemy is artillery, 
especially horse artillery accompanied by cavalry. 
Its mission is to gain time, so that order may be re- 
stored and a rear guard formed. This it will naturally 
do by falling back slowly from position to position, 
moving by echelon, and holding the enemy by its 
fire whenever possible. 

A few words concerning artillery on the march 
may well be added here. 

Two considerations determine the position of ar- 
tillery in an advancing column. It must be near 
enough the head to be quickly available when needed, 
but not near enough to risk being caught in column 
of route by hostile artillery fire. 

These requirements evidently need careful bal- 
ancing. Under present conditions, artillery caught 
in column of route within 4,000 yards of a. hostile 
battery would be very roughly handled. The in- 
fantry, then, must provide the artillery with a suffi- 
cient maneuvering zone to avoid this risk, and a part 
of the guns should march as near the head of the 
main body as is consistent with this requirement. 

As a long column of guns would be very vulner- 
able in flank, it should be broken by bodies of in- 
fantry placed between units. Many guns will thus 
be left far from the front, and the artillery must 


overcome this disadvantage by being prepared to 
cover considerable distances at a rapid gait. Every 
effort should be made to clear the roads for it when 
it is needed at the front ; the Germans provide for 
this by having a special bugle call, "Bear to the right 
(or left),'* included in the drill regulations of all arms. 
But artillery commanders in rear may themselves 
push ahead when -they expect to be needed, without 
waiting for orders, going across country if the roads 
are not cleared for them. This must of course be 
done with judgment, but on many occasions great 
results have been obtained through timely pushing 
ahead by enterprising artillery commanders. Ho- 
henlohe tells how, at St. Privat, he sent an aide to 
order up the corps artillery of the Guard, which had 
been marching in rear of the First Division. Hardly 
had the aide started when he met Colonel von Scher- 
bening, the commander of the corps artillery, who at 
once reported, to Hohenlohe*s great surprise. This 
officer had moved his batteries up at a trot the mo- 
ment he heard the first gun, and was able to bring 
his whole fifty- four guns into action immediately. 

This all applies, of course, to large units of artil- 
lery marching with the main body. In a force of 
some size, however, a small amount of artillery can, 
and generally should, be moved up into the reserve 
of the advance guard. Its action there depends upon 
the object in view. 

Some officers favor its being dispersed widely, 
covering as broad a front as possible, with the idea of 
deceiving the enemy as to the force and intentions of 
the command. Others prefer that it be kept well in 
hand, in order to facilitate control over it, and also 


to allow reinforcing batteries to come into line with 
it without mixing tactical units. 

If it be necessary to brush aside a weak opposing 
force, the advance guard artillery will go in as close 
as possible before opening fire ; the advance guard 
commander should be pretty certain of his ground 
before ordering this, however. If the object is simply 
delay, the artillery opens at longer ranges, firing 
slowly and holding back the leading elements of the 

It is hardly an artillery question; but advance 
guards and other small detachments are sometimes 
tempted to use their guns to gain some little tem- 
porary advantage, which results in a positive disad- 
vantage to the main force. For instance, when 
McClellan, after the Seven Days' Battles, was taking 
position at Harrison's Landing, Stuart's artillery com- 
mander found a position from which he could reach 
part of the Federal camps there. Stuart occupied it 
with one gun and a small force of cavalry, and opened 
fire without waiting for other troops to come up. 
The result was that, a whole Federal division oc- 
cupied the position, which had been very lightly 
held until then. If Stuart's one gun had not given 
the alarm, the Confederate infantry could undoubt- 
edly have secured it, and seriously embarrassed Mc- 

If there is a probability of a general action fol- 
lowing the engagement of the advance guard, the 
advance guard artillery should take care so to select 
its positions as to facilitate the deployment of the 
guns of the main body. 

In a retrograde movement, the artillery of the 
rear guard has a difficult task, in that it must remain 


in position long enough to let the main body get on, 
but not long enough to become seriously entangled 
itself. In general, the rear guard will be stronger in 
artillery than an advance guard of the same size ; and 
the guns can act only by retiring in echelon from 
one position to another. Occasionally they might 
get an opportunity for a brilliant success by waiting 
in a concealed position well out on a flank ; but such 
an undertaking is risky, and could not often be at- 

The guns of the main body are widely separated 
from those of the rear guard, pushing on for posi- 
tions in rear. If the commander still hopes to make 
a stand, he must get his guns in position somewhere 
as soon as possible, and rally his infantry under their 
protection ; if he is not in a position to risk a fight, he 
has nothing for them to do, and will get them out of 
the way as fast as possible, clearing the roads for the 
rest of his force. 

In a flank guard, mobility is the great essential. 
The guns form in two groups, and, if a fight is forced, 
take successive positions facing to the flank ; the 
group in rear limbers up at the proper moment and 
passes the other. This is a dangerous proceeding, 
and the route to be followed requires some con- 

Guns are assigned to an outpost only in a large 
force and under exceptional circumstances. They 
usually remain with the reserve when so assigned, 
but in special cases go farther forward. Such cases 
might occur if the outpost were one thrown forward 
to hold ground upon which it was intended to fight a 
general action ; or if a defile, through which any at- 
tack must come, were within range ; or if favorable 


positions for the enemy's guns were observed beyond 
rifle range of the line. 

Outpost duty is extremely wearing on artillery, 
since the horses have to remain in harness; this 
causes rapid deterioration, which no amount of care 
can prevent. 




No, I, {Fort Leavenworth Map.) 

This problem, with solution, was prepared for the 
School of the Line, and has already been published 
in a series of ** Tactical Studies** used as a text-book 
in that school. 

Situation : 

On June i, 1908, a Blue force at Platte City, Mis- 
souri, sends a detachment (consisting of the First 
Infantry, Troops "A** and **B,** First Cavalry, and 
Battery **B," First Field Artillery, under command 
of Colonel B) to reconnoiter in the direction of Easton, 
Kansas, where a Red detachment is reported. 

About 9 A. M. the main body of the Blue detach- 
ment begins crossing the Missouri River bridge at 
Fort Leavenworth. When the battery commander^ 
Captain A, at the head of his battery, reaches the 
western bank, his battery agent of communication,^ 
who has been with the detachment commander at 
the head of the support of the advance guard, meets 
him and informs him that Colonel B wishes to see 
him at once. Turning over the battery to his senior 
lieutenant. Captain A rides rapidly forward, accom- 
panied by the chief of the fifth section,t one trumpeter 

*D. R. F. A. HIT 501-506. 

fD. R. F. A. 1[255. 


and two 'orderlies. The chief of section carries the 
battery telescope, and the trumpeter the tripod. 

Guided by the agent, Captain A joins Colonel B 
at Merritt Hill. Colonel B informs him that accord- 
ing to reports from the advance cavalry, a Red force 
is on the hill just west of the intersection of Shawnee 
and Twentieth Streets, and that it will probably be 
necessary to attack. 

The battery scouts^ are with the advance cavalry. 
The bridge on Farragut Avenue over One Mile 
Creek has been destroyed.f 

Captain A examines the ground in the vicinity 
for a battery position in the event of an engagement. 
The ridge on which he is standing (Merritt Hill — 
National Cemetery) is in itself a good position, and 
can be reached under cover ; but the range is so long, 
nearly 4,500 yards, that he looks for a more advanced 

Long Ridge is next noticed, and the range from 
its crest estimated at 3,500 yards. It is impossible 
to find a completely covered way to it, but the ex- 
posure would be for a short distance only, and the 
battery might possibly not be perceived. If it should 
be seen by the enemy, and the latter has any artillery, 
he might search the ground behind the ridge; but 
the space is so great that he could not guess within 
half a mile the exact location of the battery until it 
had opened fire. 

The hills near the United States Penitentiary 

*D. R. F. A. 11498. 

fin this study, the tactical employment of the artillery only 
will be discussed, the operations of the other arms being outlined 
only so far as is necessary to enable the general situation to be 


appear to offer several good positions, and^t should 
be possible to get within 3,000 yards range somewhere 
in that vicinity. The Penitentiary buildings them- 
selves increase the facility of finding suitable cover ; 
on the other hand they might interfere with observa- 
tion of fire. It appears possible to gain the cover of 
these hills by way of the bridge (XVIII) over Corral 
Creek, seventy-five yards west of the electric railway 
trestle. A few hundred yards of the way between 
Merritt Hill and this bridge are evidently in plain 
sight of the enemy ; but this exposed portion could 
be crossed rapidly, and the chances would be small 
that the enemy could do any damage during the brief 
moments of exposure. After the cover of the hills 
south of Corral Creek is once gained, there are so 
many places where the battery might go that' the 
enemy could not make even a reasonable guess as to 
its position until it had opened fire. 

Technical considerations incline Captain A to the 
short range position. The effect of shrapnel con- 
tinues at or near its maximum up to 3,000 yards or so; 
but beyond this range it begins to decrease consider- 
ably, chiefly because of the increasing angle of fall, 
which reduces the space swept by the bullets of each 
shrapnel. Errors of the fuze also become more seri- 
ous as the range increases. Thus, while work may 
be done if necessary at extreme ranges, it is much 
more satisfactory, and much more economical in am- 
munition, to come to 3,000 yards or thereabouts if 
conditions permit. On the other hand, too short a 
range is undesirable, as the trajectory is then so flat 
that reverse slopes are not effectively searched. It 
might be said, roughly, that a range somewhere be- 
tween 2,000 and 3,500 yards is most desirable. 


In the present case, the position near the Peni- 
tentiary may be reached with very little more difl&- 
culty and exposure than the one at Long Ridge; and 
there is no special reason for haste in opening fire, 
as it must necessarily be some time before the in- 
fantry can get into position to attack. 

While Captain A is engaged in these observations, 
further reports of the enemy are received by the de- 
tachment commander, who decides to attack. Cap- 
tain A recommends to him the Penitentiary position 
for his artillery. 

At 9:40 A. M. Colonel B assembles the oflBcers of 
the main body (which is near by on Grant Avenue) at 
Merritt Hill, and issues the following verbal orders : 

**A hostile force, reported to consist of one bat- 
talion of infantry, one troop of cavalry and one bat- 
tery of field artillery, occupies that hiir* (pointing to 
the one just west of Shawnee and Twentieth Streets). 
**Our detachment will attack the enemy, envelop- 
ing his left flank. 

** Captain A, you will place your battery in a 
covered position near the United States Penitentiary, 
search for and fire upon the enemy *s artillery, and 
later support the infantry attack. Your movement 
into position will be covered by infantry from the 
advance guard." 

*' Major C, you will * ^ ^ * 

*' Major D, you will * * ^^^ ^ 

**The baggage train will ^ ^ ^ 

**I shall be * ^ ^ ^ *», 

Colonel B also sends a message to the cavalry 
commander and another to the commander of the ad- 
vance guard (which has been halted on Grant Avenue 


near. Corral Creek), informing them of the situation 
and of his plan of attack, and giving them the neces- 
sary orders. In the message to the advance guard 
commander, Colonel B includes information as to the 
contemplated use of the battery, and instructions for 
the advance guard to cover its movement. 

Upon receiving his orders, Captain A sends the 
following message by one of his orderlies to the bat- 

Merritt Hill, 
I June, '08, 9:40 A. M. No. i. 
Lieutenant E : 

Form and prepare for action,^ and move forward 
by route indicated by bearer. Train will remain be- 
tween infantry barracks and Merritt Lake. Reservef 
will halt just before reaching crest of 'Merritt Hill, 
with orders to keep touch with battery and follow it 
when it opens fire. Further orders for position of 
reserve will be given at Corral Creek when it reaches 
there. A, 


The battery commander, with the chief of section, 
trumpeter and remaining orderly, hastens to the 
bridge (XVHI) over Corral Creek near the electric 
railway trestle, noting as he goes that the ground is 
suitable for rapid movement and that the Union 
Pacific Railway can be crossed without difficulty. 
Passing over the bridge, he advances far enough to 
get a view up the ravine which leads from the trestle 
toward the Penitentiary, and sees that the battery 
can ascend the left bank of this ravine without expos- 

*D. R. F.A.ir447. 
tD. R. F.A.nr367. 


ing itself, and reach a position on the slope east of 
the Penitentiary. He also notes that the infantry of 
the advance guard is moving forward, and by the 
time the battery comes up, will be in position to cover 
its movement. He sends back his remaining orderly 
to meet the battery, show it the best place for cross- 
ing the railway, and guide it to this avenue of ap- 
proach to the position^ He himself, with the other 
two men, moves direct to the position, selecting a 
point near the head of the ravine where the battery 
can easily cross. 

The positions of the flank guns are marked by 
stakes, on the sloping ground between the two 
branches of the head of the ravine, at about contour 
875. The telescope is set up far enough in front of 
the line to get a good view, and a little to the left of 
the line of fire of the left gun. The tower of the 
Staff College at Fort Leavenworth is selected as an 
aiming point "^ and the battery commander begins to 
prepare his firing data;t as the enemy is not visible, 
he takes a prominent tree near the quarry as a rang- 
ing target, knowing that he can easily switch his fire 
to any point in that vicinity when he so desires. 

Meanwhile the battery is coming up. Following 
the directions of the battery commander, the orderly 
first sent back by Captain A leads it off Grant Avenue 
at the south side of Merritt Lake, follows the shore 
of the lake and its southern branch until nearly north 
of the saddle west of Merritt Hill, and then directs 
the battery toward the saddle. As ordered, the re- 
serve halts just before reaching that point. 

The lieutenant in command keeps the battery at 

*D. R. F. A. n[23i. 

fD. R. F. A. IT 261. 


a trot until the saddle is approached. He has learned 
from the orderly where the enemy is, and keeps fifty 
or a hundred yards ahead of the battery, watching 
to see that his advance is covered. Noting that a 
mounted man at this point is visible from the enemy's 
position, while a dismounted man is not, he slows to 
a walk, and dismounts drivers and cannoneers while 
crossing, mounting them again on the other side. 

Still guided by the orderly, he starts south down 
the left bank of the ravine, taking up the trot again. 
He soon comes to a point where he can no longer 
keep out of sight, and increases the pace as much as 
possible. Shelter is again found after going thus for 
a few hundred yards, but the trot is kept up wherever 
the ground permits. 

The other orderly is met near the railway, and he 
takes over the duty of guiding the battery, as above 
indicated. The battery approaches the line marked 
for it (the position of the stakes being indicated by 
the trumpeter), turns to the left so as to move along 
the line, forms double section column,"^ and unlimbers 
to the right.f The rear gun in the column thus be- 
comes the right or directing gun.:^ 

The limbers turn to the left about, clear the bat- 
tery, and then move up to the Penitentiary, under 
cover of its high walls. They take post close to the 
wall, at the eastern end of its northern face. There 
is no particular reason why the enemy should fire 
upon the Penitentiary with shell ; and even if he 
should, the limited number of light shell carried by 
an ordinary field battery would hardly be sufficient 

*D. R. F. A. ^^ 2IO and 375. 
fD. R. F. A. ^il[ 221 and 460. 

XD. R. F. A. mni 257-260. 


to endanger the limbers. In the unlikely event of 
danger from this source, they could move northward 
down the left bank of the ravine running north from 
72, as far as necessary to secure protection. 

When the battery opens fire, the reserve, as 
ordered, comes up as far as the Corral Creek bridge. 
Orders are sent it to cross the bridge and remain 
near it under cover. The enemy at this time will be 
occupied in searching for the firing battery, and 
probably will not even notice the reserve as it crosses 
the exposed space, much less fire upon it. 

The enemy will naturally be expecting fire from 
somewhere in the general neighborhood of the Peni- 
tentiary, for he will have seen the battery headed in 
that direction. But this will profit him little under 
the present conditions. The sheltered area into 
which he has seen the battery disappear is very large, 
and no clue exists as to the intentions of the battery 
commander. Both sides will have to watch for 
flashes, shot furrows in the ground, etc., and locate 
the target as best they can ; but the Blue battery 
commander should have an advantage, in that the 
enemy's position is of less extent than his own, so 
that the limits of his search are narrower. 

Another advantage he should now derive from 
the observations of his scouts. Since the advance 
cavalry has succeeded in getting good information of 
the enemy's general position. Captain A may reason- 
ably hope that his own scouts, who have been with 
the cavalry, have found out something about the 
enemy's guns. If this is the case, one of the scouts 
may be expected to join the battery at any moment, 
with information which will greatly facilitate the bat- 
tery commander's task. 


Such a use as this of the artillery scouts is not at 
all infrequent. In this case the reconnaissance officer 
of the battery* did not accompany the scouts ; often 
he would do so, and take charge of their work. 

Probably the firing data would be complete by 
the time the battery reaches the position, and firing 
could begin at once. The subsequent course of 
action on the part of the battery would depend so 
much upon circumstances that it can be indicated 
only in a general way. 

The artillery forces being equal, the prospect of 
silencing the enemy's battery would be only fair; 
still there is a chance. In any case it can be kept so 
well occupied that it can devote but little attention to 
the Blue infantry. 

If the enemy's guns can "be partially silenced, the 
battery will turn its attention to the Red infantry. 
Sooner or later, as the attacking infantry advances, 
the defenders must show themselves more or less, 
and the battery must keep down the fire of the latter. 
The orders given the battery commander leave him 
a free hand to manage his fire according to his own 

The principle by which he will be guided is: "As 
a general rule, the fire of artillery is directed against 
that arm of the enemy which at the time is predomi- 
nant, or which is capable of inflicting the greatest 
loss on the infantry or cavalry that the artillery is 
supporting.** Applying this principle to the present 
case, it will at first be necessary to fire upon the 
enemy's artillery; later on, it will become more and 
more desirable and necessary to turn upon his in- 

*D. R. F. A.ir255. 


Being alone, the battery will then be forced to do 
two things at once — keep down artillery fire in one 
place and infantry fire in another. This it might do 
by assigning a platoon to each target ; a better plan, 
however, would be to keep all the fire in the hands 
of the battery commander. His means for controll- 
ing it are better than those at the disposal of a pla- 
toon commander, and the concentrated fire of the 
battery is much more effective than the dispersed fire 
of the two platoons. 

The battery commander can switch his fire upon 
the enemy's infantry, whose position is probably not 
far enough removed from that of the Red artillery to 
render this especially difficult. Then, having the 
firing data for both targets, he may distribute his 
volleys upon them as he thinks fit. 

If the Blue artillery were superior in force to that 
of the enemy, a change of position for a part of it 
might perhaps be desirable at this stage. Enough 
would be left to keep down the hostile battery, and 
the rest moved forward, perhaps to Avenue Hill, 
where the range would be very short and observation 

Having only the one battery, however, the change 
would be made only if the position of the enemy's 
infantry were such that fire upon it could not be ob- 
served. It is of importance that the fire of the 
hostile artillery be kept down, and a change of posi- 
tion now would make it necessary to range again on 
the Red battery. One platoon cannot well be sent, 
for then one platoon or the other, on account of lack 
of instruments, would be at a disadvantage in using 
indirect fire; and the chances would be against its 
accomplishing much by direct fire, since the Red bat- 


tery in all probability would not have been seri- 
ously damaged before that time, and from its covered 
position would turn its attention to the one exposed 
platoon. The situation would be reduced to this: 
equal forces, but one battery concentrated and con- 
cealed, the other dispersed and partially exposed. 
There could be but one result. 

If a change of position is found to be necessary^ 
it must be made with the utmost rapidity. The bat- 
tery commander or his reconnaissance officer should 
go forward, select a new position and begin to pre- 
pare firing data, the battery meanwhile continuing 
in action ; then, at a favorable moment, the battery 
would quickly change position and resume firing. 

It will be noted that the occupation of the first 
position is of the simplest nature ; that is, the battery 
is so placed that it can limber quickly and easily, and 
can move out without embarrassment, and the bat- 
tery commander is so close to his guns that no tele- 
phone lines are necessary. Furthermore, the posi- 
tion selected is such that, if desired, the guns may be 
quickly run up to the crest for direct fire. All these 
things are very desirable when a battery is operating 
alone ; this is the time of all times when it is im- 
portant for it to retain its mobility to the greatest 

In this case there appears to be a considerable pre- 
ponderance in infantry on the Blue side, and the at- 
tack will probably succeed. The main attack will 
come up from the left of the Blue battery. The 
latter will then, when the attacking infantry ap- 
proaches the area covered by its fire, sweep the line 
of Shawnee Street west of the quarry. Thus, if the 
enemy attempts to withdraw or to reinforce his line 


by way of the south, the Blue infantry will be in 
position to take the movement in flank ; if by way of 
the west, the artillery fire will cause loss and con- 
fusion in that quarter. 

As soon as it appears that the attack has been 
successful, the detachment commander will doubtless 
send for the battery to assist in holding the captured 
position. Should no orders come, the battery com- 
mander should move up on his own responsibility. 
If the enemy withdraws before the final assault, the 
battery should move up in like manner, come into 
action supported by the most advanced cavalry or 
infantry, according to circumstances, and fire on the 
retreating column. In either case, the advance 
should be made with the utmost celerity. 

In the event of reinforcements reaching the 
enemy and the attack being repulsed, it will become 
the duty of the artillery to cover the retreat across 
the Missouri. It should, as a first move, withdraw 
to the Merritt Hill ridge, fire upon the most advanced 
closed bodies of pursuing troops, and particularly 
attempt to prevent hostile artillery from reaching a 
point from which it could command the Fort Leaven- 
worth bridge. 

Throughout the action outlined above, shrapnel 
only would be used. Against the infantry, of course, 
shell would not be considered, as any intrenchments 
would be hasty and light ; and against the artillery, 
no effect upon materiel would be looked for under 
these circumstances, the effect being merely to make 
the personnel keep under cover. 


No. 2. {Fort Leavenworth Map.) 

This problem is one given to the student officers 
of the School of the Line, to be solved in the field as 


A small mixed force (Brown) is retiring through 
Fort Leavenworth toward the southwest. A Blue 
force (one regiment infantry, one troop cavalry, one 
field battery) is following closely. 

The battery is moving west on Pope Avenue, 
head of column at Thomas Avenue, when hostile 
artillery opens fire upon Blue infantry crossing the 
Cavalry Drill Ground; and almost immediately the 
battery commander receives orders to engage the 
enemy's guns, which appear to be posted in the 
orchard east of the Federal Penitentiary. 


1. A sketch of the position selected, showing 
each element of the firing battery and the battery 
commander's station. Draw lines from the latter 
point in the direction of the target, and of the aim- 
ing point if one is used, and note estimated distances 
to both. 

2. Discussion of position, giving reasons for its 

3. Description of route followed in moving into 
position ; of the formations used ; and of the exact 
location of each element of the battery, including 
firing battery, reserve, train, battery commander's 
station, and aiming point if used. 


Nos, J, ^, 5. {Fort Riley Map,) 

These and the remaining problems have been 
selected from those used in the instruction of artillery- 
concentrated in an instruction camp at Fort Riley. 
These three form a connected series, covering three 
days' work. Note the manner of assigning duties to 
the diflFerent battalions in Nos. 4 and 5. 

No. 3. 

General Situation, 

A Brown division (organized as in the Field 
Service Regulations, except that the artillery con- 
sists of one regiment field artillery, two batteries, 
horse artillery, and two batteries siege artillery) is 
ordered to cross the Republican River at Junction 
City, and move upon the enemy, reported in the 
direction of Garrison. 

Special Situation, (Horse Artillery.) 

On the morning of the first day, the divisional 
cavalry regiment and the horse artillery battalion 
crossed the river at Junction City. At 9 A. M. the 
artillery and the Third Squadron are on the Gov- 
ernor Harvey Road, head of column at Milford Road, 
when the artillery commander receives the following 
verbal orders. 


The enemy's cavalry (four squadrons) is arriving 
at Hill 1332. Put your guns in position to attack his 
right. The Third Squadron will accompany you. 
The First and Second Squadrons will attack mounted, 
from the woods at the western end of Pump House 
Canon, as soon as you open fire. 


No. 4.. 

General Situation, — As in No. 3. 

Special Situation, — (All artillery.) 

The cavalry and horse artillery succeeded in 
driving the enemy back to the line Estes — Morris Hill, 
but here he received reinforcements and they were 
unable to drive him farther. 

On the morning of the second day's operations, a 
part of the enemy's infantry and artillery began 
occupying the line Estes — Morris Hill. Early on the 
same morning our main body began crossing the 
river. The division commander decides to attack. 

The artillery commander sends messages as fol- 
lows, based on the division orders. (Note. — When 
these orders are issued, the artillery is on the Gov- 
ernor Harvey Road, head of column at Milford Road.) 

To Commanding Officer First Battalion : 

The enemy's cavalry has appeared at Hill 1332, 
but has been driven back upon the line Estes — Morris 
Hill. His infantry and artillery are on that line. 

Place your battalion in a covered position near 
the east end of Sherman Heights, and open fire upon 
any formed bodies of the enemy within a sector of 
600 mils, west from and including Morris Hill. 
Silence promptly any artillery discovered within your 
sector. You will be supported by infantry. 

To Commanding Officer Second Battalion: 

(First paragraph as in message to First Battalion.) 

Place your battalion in a covered position near 

the west end of Sherman Heights, and open fire 

upon any formed bodies of the enemy within a sector 


from Hill 1332 to and including the hill on Estes 
Road, due north of the target range. 

Our cavalry and horse artillery will be operating 
west of Hill 1332. You will be supported by in- 

To Commanding Officer Siege Battalion: 

(First paragraph as in message to First Battalion.) 
Place your battalion in a covered position near 
the reservoir, and open fire upon any formed bodies 
of the enemy, from and including Morris Hill east to 
Forsyth Drive. Silence promptly any artillery dis- 
covered within your sector. You will be supported 
by infantry. 

To Cofnmanding Officer Horse Battalion: 

The enemy is taking position along the line 
Estes — Morris Hill. Our cavalry is to move against 
Estes Gate, to guard against any movement of the 
enemy upon our left flank. 

Move forward and take position near Hill 1332, 
west of the Governor Harvey Road ; open fire upon 
any formed bodies of the enemy near that or the 
Estes Road. Your present escort accompanies you. 

No. 5. 

General Situation. — As in No. 3. 

Special Situation, 

During the second day the enemy withdrew to 
the line Estes— Forsyth Hill— Saddleback. The de- 
ployment of both forces was completed. 

The division commander intends to attack the 
enemy's left in the vicinity of Saddleback. To as- 
sist in carrying out this attack the artillery com- 


mander issues orders as follows. (Note. — Battalions 
will take up positions occupied, by them on the 
second day, and there await orders.) 

To Commanding Officer First Battalion: 

The enemy, one division, occupies a line Estes — 
Forsyth Hill — Saddleback. Our infantry is about to 
attack at Saddleback. 

Advance to a covered position at Morris Hill, and 
open fire upon the enemy within a sector of 2 5omils^ 
commencing lOO mils west of the Saddleback monu- 
ment and extending west. 

To Commanding Officer Second Battalion: 

(First paragraph as in First Battalion orders.) 
Advance to a covered position on Estes Road» 

west of Morris Hill, and open fire upon the enemy 

within the sector of 300 mils extending west from 

the Milk Ranch Road. 

To Cofnmanding Officer Siege Battalion: 

(First paragraph as in First Battalion orders.) 
Advance to a covered position east of Morris Hill^ 
and open fire upon the Saddleback, covering a front 
of 300 yards on each side of the monument. 

To Commanding Officer Horse Battalion: 

(First paragraph as in First battalion orders.) 
Advance to a covered position at Hill 1332, and 

keep down the enemy^s fire from Forsyth Hill to the 

Milk Ranch Road. 


No, 6, {Fort Riley Map,) 

For the purposes of this problem, one battalion of 
the regiment was placed on a war footing by assign- 
ments of men, horses and materiel from the other, 
and a section of an ammunition column was formed 
with caissons from the horse batteries. 

General Situation, 

The Smoky Hill and Kansas Rivers form the 
boundary between two hostile States, Brown to south 
and Blue to north. 

The Brown army, intending to invade northern 
territory, has sent a force consisting of two regiments 
of cavalry and one brigade of infantry, to seize Junc- 
tion City and the crossings over the Republican 
River. This force has accomplished its purpose and 
established railhead at Junction City, when, on the 
night before the commencement of the exercise, it is 
learned that the enemy is advancing. The general 
officer commanding asks for artillery. 

Special Situation, 

At 9:30 A. M. a battalion of field artillery, with a 
portion of an ammunition column, has reached Junc- 
tion City and detrained. The battalion commander 
learns that the Brown force is holding the line of 
hills north of the Republican Flats, and that it is 
confronted by a Blue force on the line Estes Gate — 
Morris Hill. 

(Note. — The battalion, followed by the ammuni- 
tion section, will proceed to Junction City by the 
direct road. It- will there receive orders.) 



To Commanding Officer Artillery Battalion: 

The enemy holds the line Estes Gate — Morris 
Hill. This force holds the hills north of the Repub- 
lican Flats. 

Move your battalion to a covered position near 
the Governor Harvey Road. Further orders will be 
sent you on arrival. Your ammunition column will 
remain at Junction City, 

Memorandum of Execution of Problem, 

Upon reaching position indicated in orders, the 
battalion commander will have pointed out to him 
the location of two batteries of artillery near Hay- 
makers* Camp. He will be told to take position and 
open fire upon these two batteries, bearing in mind 
the necessity for being prepared to turn a part or the 
whole of his fire upon Morris Hill. Replacement of 
ammunition from fifth section in each battery. He 
will later be told that part of our infantry will attack 
Morris Hill from the direction of Pump House Canon; 
the artillery is to prepare this attack. Replacement 
of ammunition from limbers in each battery. 

Later he will be told that the infantry is making 
the attack, but is meeting severe loss from fire from 
the hill about 800 yards west of Morris Hill. He 
will direct the fire of all his guns upon this hill. 
Use of auxiliary observers, reporting assumed effect 
of fire by telephone. 

After this, he will be told to have lunch. After 
lunch he will replenish ammunition of firing bat- 
teries, fifth sections being'^replaced by sixth. 

He will next be told to prepare the sector from